Restrictive abortion law in Iowa is challenged

  • Restrictive abortion law in Iowa is challenged

Restrictive abortion law in Iowa is challenged

The plaintiffs seek an expedited hearing to temporarily enjoin enforcement of the law set to go into effect July 1.

Abortion-rights groups said Tuesday that they had filed a lawsuit challenging the nation's most restrictive abortion law, an Iowa provision that bans most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, around the sixth week of pregnancy.

"Most of the people who come to us are beyond six weeks [gestation] and it would mean they would have to go out of state", de Baca said. They say the state constitution, not the U.S. Constitution, guarantees a woman's right to abortion.

"We've moved quickly to challenge this cruel and reckless law because it can not be allowed to take effect", Rita Bettis, legal director for the ACLU of Iowa, told a news conference.

In June 2015, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that "the Iowa Constitution protects a woman's right to terminate her pregnancy to the same extent as the United States Constitution".

The lawsuit follows reports of increased pro-life protests and advocacy outside of abortion clinics across the country, The AP noted.

Separately, a new Iowa-based coalition of anti-abortion organizations was formed a year ago to renew efforts toward an abortion ban.

Some supporters of the fetal heartbeat abortion law previously said they wanted it to provide the opportunity to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision.

Iowa Republicans a year ago also gave up millions in federal dollars to create a state-funded family planning program that prohibits participation from abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood.

The lawsuit names Reynolds and the Iowa Board of Medicine as defendants.

Governor Reynolds said in a statement when she signed the bill, "I believe that all innocent life is precious and sacred, and as governor, I pledged to do everything in my power to protect it".

"We feel very confident moving forward with it", said Reynolds, who talked to reporters in Davenport after a Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce luncheon, "and so it's important that, first of all, this is about life, it's about protecting life and that's first and foremost the priority, and we have somebody that has agreed to represent us and do it at no cost to the taxpayers". Democrat Tom Miller said he based his decision on a belief that the measure "would undermine rights and protections for women", the Associated Press reported.

A 2017 Iowa law that requires a minimum 72-hour waiting period before obtaining an abortion is now blocked while the Iowa Supreme Court decides whether to strike it down.