Human Resources Committee Report – week 17, 2018

SF 359 – Fetal tissue and six-week abortion ban;
HF 2377 – Opioid tracking. 



SF 359 makes all cells and tissues external to the fetal body (cord blood) exceptions to “fetal body parts.” The second division of the bill establishes a ban on abortions after the first six weeks of pregnancy. The definition of “medical emergency” is changed to preserving the life of a mother whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, illness or injury. This definition does not include:

  • Psychological condition of the mother.
  • Emotional condition of the mother.
  • Family circumstances.
  • Woman’s age.
  • Serious risk to the future health of the mother.

The second division also adds a definition of “medically necessary.” For abortions, that would include:

  • A pregnancy that is the result of rape (IF reported to law enforcement or a family physician within 45 days of the incident).
  • A pregnancy that is the result of incest (IF reported to law enforcement or a family physician within 140 days of the incident).
  • A miscarriage.
  • A fetal abnormality (IF the physician determines that the fetus would not live).

Abortion is prohibited if there is a detectable heartbeat except in cases of a medical emergency or medical necessity. This does not take into account psychological or emotional conditions, family circumstances, the woman’s age or the future health of the mother.

This law will not apply if a physician determines the post-fertilization age of the fetus is 20 weeks or more. In those cases, the 20-week abortion law passed in 2017 will apply.
[5/2: 29-17 (Yes: Republicans and D. Johnson; Excused: Allen, Bisignano, Taylor, Zumbach)]


HF 2377 addresses Iowa’s opioid crisis. Under the bill, prescribing practitioners must register for the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP); information in the PMP must be submitted within one business day; a surcharge can be added to registration fees to administer the PMP; electronic prescribing will be required for all opioids by January 1, 2020; an annual report will be sent by the Board of Pharmacy to prescribers detailing their history of prescribing controlled substances; the Pharmacy Board may establish penalties for those who prescribe too much of a controlled substance; more substances are added to Schedule I and II; and Good Samaritan language allows a person to seek help for themselves or another individual using drugs.
[4/30: 48-0 (Excused: D. Johnson, Zumbach)]