Pregnancy should not be the subject of punitive laws made because of personal views on who should be in control of women’s medical decisions.

Senate File 471 would make getting an abortion after 20 weeks a class C felony that would punish women with up to 10 years in prison. It’s part of a national attempt to ban all abortions. I read a blogger who wrote that he did not think that this bill went far enough. His opinion was that pregnant women should be monitored for what they consume as well as their activities. So, if a woman does not produce a healthy child, they could be prosecuted.

My friend’s daughter had 3 pregnancies that were not viable before she could conceive 2 beautiful daughters. Her daughter and husband found out after 5 months of pregnancy that the fetuses did not have a brain and would not live outside the womb. This genetic disorder caused terrible distress to this couple who decided to abort three times. If this law passes, mothers like this will face prison time. This is cruel and unusual punishment for women who abort after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Another consequence of this law is to make pregnant women prove that a miscarriage was not an abortion. Should we go down this road of micromanaging women’s lives? Should Iowa laws make medical decisions for others when nothing is known about the individuals involved?

Julie Stewart