July 14, 2023

As Iowa Governor Prepares to Sign Heartbeat Abortion Prevention Act Again, SFLAction Questions Which 2024 Candidates Stand Behind the Universal Sign of Life

“When did it become a trick question to say a heartbeat proves someone is alive,” asks SFLAction’s Kristan Hawkins. “The Heartbeat Abortion Prevention Act in Iowa – a spotlight in the 2024 race – gives us the opportunity to ask candidates where they stand on life. Many Presidential hopefuls have been unable to commit to protecting life in law and service at the federal level, but we challenge them to consider the proven sign of life beating in the womb and make a commitment to protect it.”

CLICK HERE to read about SFLAction’s model Chemical Abortion Prevention Legislation in Iowa

Des Moines, IA (07-14-2023) – Breezing quickly throughout Iowa’s legislature and to the desk of Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds for a second time, Students for Life Action (SFLAction) says the state Supreme Court has another chance to enact life-saving legislation and prove they rule with an unbiased viewpoint rather than legislate from the bench. Hawkins adds that while SFLAction’s goal is Protection at Conception, the Heartbeat Abortion Prevention Act is a bare minimum we can offer preborn humans as science tells us they have a distinct sign of life and anyone running for office ought to be able to recognize that. 

As noted in SFLAction’s Legislative Sessions Report, life-saving laws are trending in the direction of earlier protections. As previously reported, HALF OF ALL STATES now protect preborn life and their mothers, starting at conception all the way to 12 weeks (three months). One year ago, almost no one thought that was possible – not with Roe in the way. The historic Dobbs case revolved around a limit at 15 weeks, which today, few consider at the state level. Momentum is on the side of earlier limits. 

This week, SFLAction activists testified in support of the Heartbeat Abortion Prevention Act while counterprotesting the radical ideology of Planned Parenthood at the capital who calls for abortion for any reason at any time. “Iowa should follow in the steps of Florida where a virtually ineffective 15-week standard was improved to save children when their hearts can be heard; at least until we can get protection at conception,” Hawkins noted.

SFLAction urges Governor Reynolds to use her Republican super majorities to continue to pass strong pro-life legislation, like Students for Life Action’s bill to end the distribution of dangerous Chemical Abortion Pills.

Active in all 50 states, SFLAction has been working throughout the legislative session to educate voters and elected officials on the realities of abortion and introduce meaningful legislation to make abortion unthinkable and unavailable. Calling upon the pool of presidential hopefuls, SFLAction says each candidate should pledge to protect life in law through its candidate survey because saving innocent life from the violence of abortion shouldn’t be a promise made quietly behind closed doors at the advice of D.C. consultants.  

Despite current media polling that doesn’t ask a complete question on abortion, heartbeat protections are, in fact, popular among Gen Z and Millennial voters. Students for Life of America has shown in a number of polls, including this year’s YouGov poll by the SFLA Demetree Institute for Pro-Life Advancement, reported:

SOME SUPPORT FOR GESTATIONAL LIMITS: Almost 7 in 10 support limits on abortion based on a baby’s stage of development – with even more support for Life at Conception Protections than Protections based only on Fetal Pain. The milestones of a baby’s heartbeat or viability show strong support. Gen Z and Gen Y were asked when they thought a baby’s life deserved legal protection, and in this round, they chose:

  • At conception, when egg and sperm combine to produce a new living organism: 15%
  • When a heartbeat is detected: 17% (Same level of support as 2022).
  • When pain can be felt: 12%
  • When brain activity is detected (FYI: the same timeframe as a heartbeat): 6%
  • At Viability (about 21 weeks): 17%
  • Does not support regulating abortion based on stage of development: 33%

For interviews email [email protected] 

CLICK HERE to read Kristan Hawkins’ op-ed at The American Mind entitled ‘Advice for the GOP on Abortion Policy’


Students for Life Action (SFLAction), a 501c4, along with its 501c3 sister organization, Students for Life of America (SFLA), make up the nation’s largest pro-life youth organization and a political and policy operation engaging people of all ages. Together they work to end abortion — the human rights issue of our day — and provide political, legal, and community support for women and their children, born and preborn. Headquartered in Fredericksburg, VA, SFLA has more than 1,300 groups on middle, high school, college, university, medical, and law school campuses in all 50 states. SFLA creates strategy, policy, and programming to connect those most targeted for abortion with people ready to help and builds a framework for political engagement on their behalf. SFLA and SFLAction have more conversations with those most targeted by the abortion industry than any other pro-life outreach in the world, reaching more than 2 million people across social media platforms each week and engaging in approximately 100,000 digital conversations per month. Over more than 16 years, President Kristan Hawkins has grown SFLAction/SFLA into an $18 million organization preparing for a Post-Roe America.