A judge temporarily blocked Iowa’s newest abortion restrictions from going into effect until a lawsuit challenging the law's constitutionality can be resolved. Governor Kim Reynolds, a Republican, signed the law on May 4th. It banned abortions after doctors detect a heartbeat, which usually happens around the sixth week of pregnancy.
The Emma Goldman Clinic, based in Iowa City, the ACLU, and Planned Parenthood of the Heartland filed suit to stop the law from going into effect. They argued that the law violates the Iowa Constitution and should be struck down.
The hearing in Polk County District court asked the Judge to temporarily block the law until the courts could hear and decide the law’s fate. After the state’s attorneys did not object, District Court Judge Michael Huppert granted the injunction, blocking the law from going into effect.
The fetal heartbeat law, which gave Iowa the strongest pro-life legislation in the country, was scheduled to go into effect on July 1st.
The Iowa State Attorney General, Tom Miller, disqualified his office from defending the law. Miller, a Democrat, said 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 Thomas More Society, a Chicago-based firm, sent attorneys to defend the law for the state.
Reynolds said she signed the law to protect human life. “If death is determined when a heart stops beating, then doesn't a beating heart indicate life? For me, it is immoral to stop an innocent beating heart."
The law’s critics believe it is unconstitutional and overly restrictive, arguing that the law restricts abortions to a period of time in which some women may not even know they are pregnant.
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Publication date: June 1, 2018