Legal challenges filed to new Iowa abortion law

The US Supreme Court has previously been hostile to

The US Supreme Court has previously been hostile to"heartbeat abortion limit laws

The Iowa law is part of a flurry of legislation that aims to test the legality of abortion restrictions, as some Republicans want legal challenges to the laws to reach the U.S. Supreme Court in an effort to overturn its landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling. Reynolds, who signed Iowa's ban earlier this month, said at a public event in Davenport that she felt "very confident" about defending the lawsuit.

Planned Parenthood called the law "blatantly unconstitutional" and noted that many women don't even know they're pregnant at six weeks.

Nearly immediately, the state's attorney general said he would not defend the law. Democrat Tom Miller said the decision to remove his office from the case was based on a belief that the measure "would undermine rights and protections for women".

It seeks an injunction that would put the law's July 1 implementation on hold during the lawsuit.

The lawsuit names Reynolds and the Iowa Board of Medicine as defendants.

In a letter to the state legislature Tuesday, Miller's office announced that he will not represent the state in challenges to the law from pro-abortion rights groups.


What backers of the fetal-heartbeat law may not have counted on was the move by plaintiffs to bring the action in state court rather than federal court, meaning the challenge to the law won't end up before the U.S. Supreme Court because the suit citing the state constitution can not be removed to federal court, according Rita Bettis, legal director for the ACLU of Iowa. "With it, Iowa politicians have tried to ban virtually all abortions for women in our state".

The law is evidence of the state's conservative shift after the 2016 election, when Republicans gained control of the Legislature and the governor's office for the first time in almost 20 years.

Planned Parenthood and the ACLU said they hope to avoid that possibility by only challenging the law under the Iowa Constitution. If a heartbeat is detected, a physician could perform an abortion except in cases of rape, incest and fetal abnormality. The law does not allow a woman to access an abortion due to "psychological conditions, emotional conditions, familial conditions, or the woman's age".

Earlier this month, Dr. Marygrace Elson, director of the OB-GYN residency program, told the Iowa City Press-Citizen the university could establish a clinic in IL, where residents could complete their family planning rotations.

"Most of the people who come to us are beyond six weeks [gestation] and it would mean they would have to go out of state", de Baca said. "It's also important to note that the exceptions in the law are essentially non-exceptions".

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