Iowa legislators are scheduled to vote this week on a bill (HF 657) that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of gestation. The bill, which passed the House last March but stalled in the Senate, is aimed at preventing Dr. LeRoy Carhart from opening a clinic in Council Bluffs, where he would offer late-term abortions. 26 state Senators signed a petition last week to move the bill to the Senate for a debate as early as Thursday.
Senate Majority leader Michael Gronstal (D), from Council Bluffs, could still block the debate on the bill. He released a statement saying he supports abortion rights but opposes abortion provider Dr. Carhart’s efforts to open a clinic in Iowa.
According to the AP, Gronstal’s decision could decide the fate of the bill, which Governor Terry Branstad (R) has said he would sign.