Judge to consider stopping Iowa's new fetal heartbeat abortion law

DES MOINES, Iowa - A court hearing this morning could put Iowa's new abortion ban on hold, one month before it is set to take effect.

The new law bans abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

District Court Judge Michael Huppert will hear arguments this morning at 9:00 in Polk County Court over whether the new abortion law should be temporarily stopped while the lawsuit is still ongoing.

American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa (ACLU) is representing Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and the Emma Goldman Clinic in a lawsuit that hopes to repeal the abortion bill signed by Governor Reynolds last month. 

The ACLU said the law is unconstitutional and exceptions to the law for rape and incest are not realistic.

“The requirement of reporting rape within 45 days and incest within 140 days is completely out of touch with the reality that survivors of those horrendous crimes must live with,” Emma Goldman Clinic’s Francine Thompson said.

The Emma Goldman Clinic was the first facility in Iowa to offer abortions after the 19-73 Roe versus Wade Supreme Court ruling legalized abortions.

The ACLU said this hearing will not impact the pending Iowa Supreme Court ruling to block the 72-hour wait period before a woman could get an abortion. They are awaiting that decision before the Iowa Supreme Court adjourns at the end of June.

Planned Parenthood say this law does not reflect Iowans – Prolife advocates say it does.

“I think it’s a clear indication of our culture and our state and of our shifting. We have science on our side and we have the Iowans on our side that they want to see life protected in our state,” Iowans for Life’s Maggie DeWitte said.

Governor Reynolds released a statement regarding the lawsuit, “We knew there would be a legal fight, but it’s a fight worth having to protect innocent life. We will be represented by the Thomas More Society at no cost to taxpayers.”

The ‘Fetal Heartbeat Law’ is set to go into effect until July 1st, unless the judge temporarily stops it. The ACLU tells WHO Channel 13 that the judge isn’t likely to make a decision on the temporary injunction until mid-June.  


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