Nation's most restrictive abortion law challenged in Iowa

Lester Mason
May 16, 2018

Attorney General Tom Miller's office sent a letter to the state legislature saying Miller was disqualifying himself due to the "determination that he could not zealously assert the state's position because of his core belief that the statute, if upheld, would undermine rights and protections for women".

The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America said they filed the lawsuit in Polk County District Court in Des Moines.

Signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds earlier this month, the law will require abortion practitioners to test for the unborn baby's heartbeat before performing an abortion.

"Not only is this ban blatantly unconstitutional, it's also extremely harmful to women", Laguens said in a statement Tuesday.

After consulting with the Governor's office and legislators, the Attorney General would recommend the Executive Council authorize the appointment of the Thomas More Society, 19 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, IL 60603, to represent the state in this litigation.

The Louisiana bill is similar to a 15-week abortion ban that was passed in MS in March.

"We knew there would be a legal fight, but it's worth having to protect innocent life", a Reynolds spokesperson said in an email to Reuters.

Rita Bettis, of the ACLU of Iowa, criticized the life-affirming law as "beyond extreme." .

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller will not defend the state against lawsuits over the state's abortion ban.

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"Reinstating President Ronald Reagan's Title X regulations is sorely needed to bring the program into clear alignment with the statutory requirement stating, 'None of the funds appropriated under this title shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.' Abortion is not family planning and the law recognizes that", read the letter.

Although federal law already forbids the use of federal funding for abortions in most cases, Republicans have long insisted that money going to Planned Parenthood indirectly supports the procedure.

In a special report titled: "Unsafe: The Public Health Crisis in America's Abortion Clinics Endangers Women", Americans United for Life (AUL) provided details of hundreds of violations of state laws regulating abortion clinics - violations that impact the health and safety of women seeking abortions. "Getting a win on the pro-life side, even if it's regulatory rather than legislative, would be huge, and encourage people to come out and vote for the members who pushed for action on this", Kelly Marcum, who provides legislative advice for the evangelical-based Family Research Council, told The Hill.

Because of the current make-up of the U.S. Supreme Court and lower courts, a law to prohibit abortions in the first trimester most likely would not survive a court challenge.

The Supreme Court validated the Reagan-era regulations so activists hope another pro-life president who has repeatedly promised to cut off tax dollars to Planned Parenthood can move towards their restoration.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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