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Iowa Supreme Court blocks new abortion restriction

Iowa Supreme Court blocks new abortion restriction

Planned Parenthood argues this waiting period creates an undue burden on women seeking abortions, especially for poor or rural women, or women who may be at risk for domestic violence.

The Iowa Supreme Court has just issued a temporary order, blocking part of a brand new abortion-related law from taking effect.

Iowa lawmakers approved a measure April 18 banning abortions at 20 weeks with no exceptions for rape, incest or fatal fetal conditions April 18.

The injunction enabled 44 women who were scheduled for abortions on Friday to keep their appointments.

Branstad told reporters he was encouraged by the district judge's swift decision the day before, saying "it's pretty unusual that someone would bring a legal challenge before a bill is even signed, but I think the district judge did the right thing".

The ACLU affiliate brought the lawsuit challenging the law with Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.

The abortion bill signed Friday morning prohibits the procedure in most cases after 20 weeks of pregnancy and requires a 72-hour waiting period.

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Planned Parenthood clinics also had 11 medication abortion patients scheduled for Tuesday and 28 for Wednesday, including 19 medication abortion patients.

"The real work begins now because we have to spend a lot of time educating and making sure the public is aware of what the real facts are now", Pate said. He is scheduled to sign it at 8:30 a.m. today.

Iowa becomes one of three states with a 72-hour waiting period and two-trip requirement for abortions - joining Missouri and South Dakota.

When asked earlier about efforts to block to law, Branstad noted that similar abortion restrictions have been upheld in other states.

Iowa Solicitor General Jeffrey Thompson argued there is not a constitutional right to an abortion on demand.

The court's approval of an injunction Friday came shortly after Gov. Terry Branstad signed the measure into law. Additionally, he said numerous barriers cited by the challengers were self-imposed by Planned Parenthood's business decisions, rather than created by the new law.

"While we have made the needed adjustments to ensure we are fully compliant with the new law, we hope the court will ultimately rule on the side of women and protect their continued access to this safe medical care guaranteed under the Iowa constitution", de Baca said.

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