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Iowa Law Officially Replaces “R” Word

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File photo of pens being placed near a piece of legislation. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

File photo of pens being placed near a piece of legislation. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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DES MOINES (KMOX) – Earlier this week, Iowa’s government voted to formally replace the word “retarded” with the term “intellectual disability.”

Senate File 2247 is described officially as “an act relating to terminology changes in Iowa code references to mental retardation.”

The measure, sponsored by state representative Lisa Heddens (D-46), touches upon use of the terms “retarded” and “mental retardation” in a variety of contexts.

According to the Des Moines Register, the bill was signed Thursday by Iowa state governor Terry Branstad.

“I don’t think in my time here that I have worked on legislation where changing two words in the Iowa Code has meant so much to so many people,” said Heddens to the Ames Tribune.

Her involvement in the cause is reportedly personal as well as professional due to her 17-year-old son Paul, who has Downs Syndrome.

The official website for the Iowa legislature general assembly shows Heddens has a track record of campaigning for legislation that protects the rights of the intellectually disabled.

The Associated Press reports that, before reaching Branstad’s desk, the House voted the measure forward 92-0, following an earlier 50-0 Senate vote supporting the bill.

Attempts to reach Heddens were not immediately answered.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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