Iowa Governor Plans to Appeal Block on Restrictive Abortion Law


On Tuesday, Governor Kim Reynolds of Iowa announced her intention to appeal a provisional injunction against the state’s new, restrictive abortion law, foreshadowing an emotive court battle that could take months to resolve.

Reynolds told reporters at the Iowa State Capitol that her staff is collaborating with counsel from the office of Attorney General Brenna Bird so “it’s just a matter of time,” she said.

During a special session last week, the Republican-controlled legislature passed a ban on the majority of abortions after approximately six weeks of pregnancy. Friday, Governor Reynolds signed the measure into law, and it promptly took effect.

Judge Joseph Seidlin granted the request of the ACLU of Iowa, Planned Parenthood North Central States, and the Emma Goldman Clinic to suspend the law pending an evaluation of its constitutionality by the courts.

During the interim, abortions up to 20 weeks of pregnancy remain lawful in Iowa. Before the governor signed the bill, abortion providers scrambled to schedule as many appointments as possible, making hundreds of calls to patients to prepare them for the uncertainty and keeping clinics open late.

Following the ruling, Planned Parenthood and the Emma Goldman Clinic expressed relief, while remaining cognizant of the protracted legal battle ahead.

Consequences of Iowa’s Controversial Abortion Law

Seidlin wrote that the law must pass the “undue burden” test unless the state Supreme Court rules otherwise. This suggests that exercising one’s rights should not be overly difficult. According to this test, pro-abortion advocates are likely correct in asserting that the new law violates the state constitution rights of Iowans.

The state’s counsel argued, and will likely continue to argue, that the law should be judged by a lower standard. They argue that the law should be immune to legal challenges because the government has an interest in protecting life.

“I believe that the bill that we passed is constitutional, especially in light of the changes that we’ve seen,” said Reynolds, referring to the Iowa Supreme Court and U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of prior rulings that upheld a woman’s constitutional right to abortion.

She said, “We passed it, it became law, and for three days we were saving babies.” I believe the right to life is the most valuable privilege we possess.

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Source: ABC News

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