Republicans in the Iowa state legislature introduced a bill on Monday that would make it a felony to manufacture or prescribe mifepristone, one of two drugs used in medication abortions.
The bill would make it illegal to “manufacture, distribute, prescribe, dispense, sell or transfer” generic or brand name mifepristone in the state, punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The bill text notes that it “should not be construed” as imposing liability on a woman who receives an abortion or as limiting the use of contraceptives.
In Iowa, abortion is currently legal up to 20 weeks of pregnancy. The Republican-controlled legislature passed a law in 2018 banning abortions at around six weeks of pregnancy that was subsequently signed into law by Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds. However, the law was blocked by a permanent injunction in 2019.
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade last June, Reynolds has sought to overturn the injunction. Her effort was rejected by a state court in December, which the governor has promised to appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court.
Several other Republican-led states have also sought to restrict or ban the use of abortion drugs, like mifepristone.
Twenty-nine states, including the Hawkeye State, have implemented laws that specifically require physicians to administer the medications for an abortion, while 18 states require that a clinician be physically present when the medication is administered, according to the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion rights group that broke off from Planned Parenthood in 2007.
Only two states have complete or partial bans on medication abortions that have not been temporarily or permanently blocked by the courts. Medication abortions are banned after seven weeks in Texas and after 10 weeks in Indiana, although mifepristone has only been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) up to 10 weeks.