Groups File Lawsuit To Block Iowa's New 'Heartbeat' Abortion Law

Leslie Hanson
May 15, 2018

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and the Emma Goldman Clinic in Iowa City are co-plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) said after signing the bill on Saturday that the "work is not done" when it comes to restricting abortions in the state.

Senate File 359 has been called the strictest abortion law in the nation.

As member station Iowa Public Radio has reported, the legislation imposes a ban on "most abortions after about six weeks into a pregnancy, with some exceptions for rape, incest, fetal abnormalities, and to save the life of the mother".

The lawsuit was anticipated by some sponsors of the law, who hoped to trigger a challenge to Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 decision that established that women have a constitutional right to an abortion.

"Not only is this law blatantly unconstitutional - it's extremely harmful to women", Planned Parenthood said in a statement about the lawsuit. However, this is bigger than just a law. "Planned Parenthood is challenging this law because the Iowa Constitution is clear a woman has a right to access a safe and legal abortion".


In a letter to the state legislature Tuesday, Miller's office announced that he will not represent the state in challenges to the law from pro-abortion rights groups.

"I believe all innocent life is precious and sacred, and as governor I pledge to you to do everything in my power to protect life", Reynolds said.

The expected legal battle over a controversial abortion has begun in Iowa.

In 2015, the state's high court unanimously struck down rules enacted by the Iowa Board of Medicine that effectively banned the remote distribution of an abortion-inducing pill using a video conferencing system known as "telemedicine".

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

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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