Iowa's new "Heartbeat Bill" bans all abortions, putting women's lives at risk

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Pregnancy is an unpredictable and potentially fatal condition. The new "Heartbeat Bill" signed by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds is a danger to society because it ignores scientific facts, forcing women to risk their lives unnecessarily and against their own will.

Two weeks ago, I nearly died from extreme blood loss due to my pregnancy. Before then, everything looked healthy and there was no cause for concern. My HCG levels were raising wonderfully, and it seemed like a normal pregnancy. Then one morning I woke up in a puddle of blood, and ended up losing over 8 pounds worth of bodyweight from blood loss in a single day. My first trip to the emergency room that morning lasted a few hours and I was released from the hospital, still bleeding. By the end of the day I required an ambulance to bring me back to the emergency room where I ended up blacking out and convulsing from lack of blood. Husband watched helplessly, thinking I was going to die as the medical team tried to stabilize me. Had my husband not gotten the attention of doctors in time, I could have had permanent damage to my brain and organs due to hypovolemic shock, or I would have died that night right in front of him. But I was one of the lucky ones, as I was able to access a hospital just in time and was saved by emergency blood transfusion and D&C surgery. Because I had eaten food before returning to the ER, I could not receive anesthesia for the surgery and had to endure the agonizing torture of surgery, feeling extreme pain as my insides were scraped out with medical instruments.  

It was the most painful experience of my life and I do not wish that pain on anyone. No one should be forced to carry on a medical condition against their will, especially one as dangerous as pregnancy. Although I wanted my pregnancy, I understand there are many women who do not want that risk for multitudes of reasons. That is why I am starting this petition.

This barbaric new "Heartbeat Bill" signed by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds completely disregards basic biology and the real-life dangers that pregnant women encounter. Worse yet, it strips away the fundamental rights of women who do not want to risk death. A healthy pregnancy can suddenly turn into a medical emergency that can result in death, and the Heartbeat Bill stops women from accessing life-saving preventative healthcare that could keep them alive and healthy.  

The bill claims to make exceptions for fetal abnormalities that can be detected, yet most pregnancies are not closely monitored enough so early on to detect such issues. Six weeks is too early for doctors to even determine chromosomal defects in miscarried embryos. Many fetuses can develop sudden unforeseen issues that can put the mother's life in jeopardy, which are not detected until the situation becomes life-threatening.

The bill bans abortion after only 6 weeks along, before many women even know they are pregnant. Because pregnancies are counted from the start of the last menstrual period and not from their actual conception, the embryo is only 4 weeks in gestational age at the time the pregnancy is considered 6 weeks along. The organs are not developed, and the brain is not developed. At only 6 weeks along, many of the symptoms of pregnancy may not be detected yet. Implantation bleeding occurs around the time of a women's expected period. This bleeding can be mistaken as a period, which causes many women to not suspect pregnancy until they don't get their period the following month. This nonsensical Heartbeat Bill prevents women from being able to make a decision about their healthcare within a reasonable timespan. 

A heartbeat does not mean equate to life, just like a braindead person is not considered to be alive despite their heart beating. Cutting off life-support to a braindead individual is not considered murder, as the brain which allows them sentience and self-awareness is not functioning. Response to stimuli does not equate to life, as braindead individuals can sweat and have involuntary muscle movements similar to fetuses before their synaptic activity develops. There can be a heartbeat present, yet no life present, as there is no life or self-awareness without synaptic activity. Similarly, embryos do not have brain activity at 6 weeks old since the brain has not formed. The first appearance of synaptic activity (communication between brain cells) does not appear until week 17. However, primitive synaptic activity of a fetus should still not be a determining factor in preventing the death of the mother when there is a necessity to preserve her life and wellbeing.

Forcing women to endure pregnancies against their will also puts women in other dangerous situations. Teenage girls have been murdered by their fathers or boyfriends for becoming pregnant, or have become homeless and abandoned due to societal pressures against them. Women who are not emotionally or financially stable would be forced into poverty, as the cost of daycare averages about $200 per week. Pregnancy exhaustion, nausea, and other symptoms take their toll on women physically, making it even more difficult to maintain a stable income. Many women are prescribed bed-rest during pregnancy, making it impossible to provide an income for themselves. 

Children resulting from unwanted pregnancies are dragged through the system, often enduring abuse or emotional trauma at the hands of foster parents and orphanages. In 2014 there were 415,129 children in foster care. Forcing women to continue with unwanted pregnancies will put a strain on the already burdened foster care system, increase the number of women in poverty, and increase the amount of children who grow up without the love and support that they deserve.

The United States has the worst rate of maternal death in the world among developed countries, drastically higher than any other developed country. And the USA is the only developed country in the world where the rate of maternal deaths is drastically on the rise. African-American women are among the most affected.

The ever-growing danger involved with pregnancy will continue to rise if the Heartbeat Bill forces women into dangerous situations that could be avoided by providing access to basic medical care, including abortions. Although the Heartbeat Bill aims to save lives which have not even begun, it will have the reverse affect, resulting in unnecessary deaths and suffering of real women. Rights to preventative lifesaving abortions are a matter of life or death.

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