Thursday, 20 June, 2019

Groups file suit challenging Iowa's six-week abortion ban

Pro-choice groups challenge Iowa's strict abortion ban Clinics Sue Iowa Over Six-Week Abortion Ban
Deanna Wagner | 17 May, 2018, 03:50

The bill was signed earlier this month by Gov. Kim Reynolds and was immediately met with threats of a lawsuit from abortion groups who claim the ban is clearly unconstitutional.

Tuesday, they made good on that promise.

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.

Tuesday's lawsuit comes as little surprise. "In the 45 years since (Roe v. Wade), no federal or state court has upheld such a risky law".

"I understand and anticipate that this will likely be challenged in court", Republican Governor Kim Reynolds said in a statement after the signing. Women often don't know they're pregnant at that point, and experts and opponents of the law argue this will prevent women from even considering the possibility of abortion when they find out.

A hearing on the temporary injunction is expected in the next few weeks.

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Some supporters of the fetal heartbeat abortion law previously said they wanted it to provide the opportunity to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, a Democrat, refused to defend the law in court, saying it would "undermine rights and protections for women". "We will be represented by the Thomas More Society at no cost to taxpayers".

The law contains certain ultrasound requirements, though Tuesday's lawsuit only challenges the heartbeat ban portion of the law. If a heartbeat is detected, a physician could not perform an abortion except in cases of rape, incest and fetal abnormality.

The law allows for some exceptions, including in the case of a "medical emergency" such as conditions that are life-threatening or pose "a serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function". Earlier versions had called for felony charges against doctors but not women seeking an abortion. 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. That's around six weeks of pregnancy, making it the strictest abortion regulation in the country. "We want politicians out of women's lives and out of the exam room".

"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.

The Iowa Supreme Court is expect to rule on that case in the near future.