Planned Parenthood, ACLU Sue Iowa Over 'Cruel' 6-Week Abortion Ban

When Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed Iowa's new abortion bill into law protesters gathered outside her office at the Statehouse in Des Moines. Two groups have now filed a lawsuit to block the bill

When Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed Iowa's new abortion bill into law protesters gathered outside her office at the Statehouse in Des Moines. Two groups have now filed a lawsuit to block the bill

It seeks an injunction that would put the law's July 1 implementation on hold during the lawsuit.

Pro-abortion groups say they have filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Iowa's new abortion law, which bans most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, around the sixth week of pregnancy. That typically happens around the six-week mark, often before the woman knows she is pregnant.

"We haven't heard much out of Iowa until the past couple of years", said state policy analyst Elizabeth Nash of the Guttmacher Institute, a national research group that supports abortion rights and tracks abortion legislation.

What backers of the fetal-heartbeat law may not have counted on was the move by plaintiffs to bring the action in state court rather than federal court, meaning the challenge to the law won't end up before the U.S. Supreme Court because the suit citing the state constitution can not be removed to federal court, according Rita Bettis, legal director for the ACLU of Iowa.

"The disqualification is based on the Attorney General's 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", read a letter from the A.G.'s office to the state Executive Council.

The abortion restriction signed into law by Governor Kim Reynolds on May 4 was passed in the middle of the night by the GOP-controlled Iowa Legislature entirely with Republican votes. It argues the new law violates the Iowa Constitution.

Reynolds, who signed Iowa's ban earlier this month, said at a public event in Davenport that she felt "very confident" in defending the lawsuit, adding: "It's about life".

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

There are some exceptions in the law.

"It's about protecting life". That means it's highly unlikely the lawsuit would appear in federal courts and present a challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.

"Today we will begin this journey as Iowa becomes ground zero nationally for the life movement and the starting line back to the Supreme Court", said Sen.

Iowa Republicans past year 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.

Miller's office defended the state when Planned Parenthood sued over the 2017 law that mandated a 72-hour waiting period for women seeking abortions.

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