ACLU-Iowa sues to keep abortion off list of suspended medical procedures

DES MOINES, Iowa- The Americans Civil Liberties Union of Iowa and Planned Parenthood Federation of America, on behalf of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, and along with the Emma Goldman Clinic in Iowa City are suing Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds over her COVID-19 Disaster Emergency Proclamation, which suspends non-essential medical procedures, including abortions.

The lawsuit, filed in Johnson County District Court, asks the court to block the Governor’s Proclamation as it applies to abortions.

Statement from Erin Davison-Rippey, Iowa Executive Director of Planned Parenthood: “Abortion is an essential, time-sensitive medical procedure, as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology have recognized.

We are in a critical moment for our state when we must come together to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, not politicize health care services that are constitutionally protected. Iowans are doing all they can to protect their families and communities during this pandemic and Planned Parenthood is focused on providing our patients with crucial services they need.”

Statement from Rita Bettis Austen, ACLU of Iowa legal director

“Right now, the state needs leadership that lets us all work together to protect our health and the health of our families and communities. The state’s singling out of abortion in this manner during the public health crisis is profoundly harmful to Iowa women, and can’t be justified from a public health perspective. Abortion is an essential, time-sensitive, and constitutionally protected medical procedure. This move follows the state's numerous prior efforts to ban abortion in Iowa and make abortion more difficult and costly to obtain, all of which, like this decision, have been completely unjustified medically and have been blocked by the courts as unconstitutional. This is the worst time for it to try again.”

Governor Reynolds' office released a statement about the lawsuit:

Governor Reynolds is focused on protecting Iowans from an unprecedented public health disaster, and she suspended all elective surgeries and procedures to preserve Iowa’s health care resources. As the governor has said over and over, Iowans are in this together. We will be working in consultation with the Attorney General’s Office to defend the actions she’s taken.

Reynolds Closes More Businesses Due To COVID-19 Coronavirus Outbreak - Thumbnail Image

Reynolds Closes More Businesses Due To COVID-19 Coronavirus Outbreak

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