Restrictive abortion law in Iowa is challenged

Restrictive abortion law in Iowa is challenged

Restrictive abortion law in Iowa is challenged

Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed their lawsuit against Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Board of Medicine in an attempt to strike down Iowa's newly passed law banning all abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

The law, set to go into effect July 1, bans abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, generally about six weeks into a pregnancy-before some women know they're pregnant.

The ACLU of Iowa argues that if the court upholds the 72-hour wait period as well as the six-week ban, women will be placed in a unsafe position where they are forced to either carry an unwanted pregnancy to term, obtain an abortion in another state or self-induce an abortion.

The complaint was not immediately made public, however, pending processing by the Polk County Clerk of Court, which had not happened by midday Tuesday.

"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.

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They seek to have the law struck down as unconstitutional and are requesting a temporary injunction with an expedited hearing within 14 days as the case progresses. Litigation could take years.

Iowa Republicans vowed to pass what is considered the toughest abortion limit in the nation with the hope that it would be the one that gives the U.S. Supreme Court another opportunity to reverse the 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade. "It has been a very striking shift in the state Legislature, and it really shows how important state legislatures are to abortion access". Jake Chapman, a Republican from Adel, during a debate in the Iowa Senate. The law is among the most restrictive abortion bans in the country.

Lawmakers adopted several abortion restrictions in 2017, including a 20-week abortion ban and a requirement that women wait three days before ending a pregnancy. The waiting provision is on hold because of a separate lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood and the ACLU.

Separately, a new Iowa-based coalition of anti-abortion organizations was formed previous year to renew efforts toward an abortion ban. "In the 45 years since (Roe v. Wade), no federal or state court has upheld such a unsafe law".

Other plaintiffs in the lawsuit include Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, the affiliate's medical director and the Emma Goldman Clinic in Iowa City.

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Nearly immediately, the state's attorney general said he would not defend the law.

Iowa's attorney general Tom Miller indicated that he would not defend the law because it "would undermine rights and protections for women", The AP reported.

Miller said the Thomas More Society, a conservative Chicago-based law firm, has agreed to defend the law for free.

"The perception of Iowa is that we have been a rational, relatively progressive state that has always valued the health of our citizens", she said.

"This abortion ban is beyond extreme".

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As of 3:15 p.m. Tuesday, Gov. Reynolds has yet to issue a statement in response to the lawsuit.

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