Iowa Supreme Court Upholds Six-Week Abortion Ban

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By a 4-3 vote, the Iowa Supreme Court upheld a law that will ban most abortions after about the sixth week of pregnancy.

The ruling removed an injunction that prevented the so-called “Heartbeat Bill” from taking effect. The majority ruling says the Iowa Consitution does not include a fundamental right to an abortion and the court’s review of the historical record shows the right to an abortion is not rooted at all in the state’s history and tradition.

Chief Justice Susan Christiansen was one of the three judges with the minority opinion. In her dissent, Christiansen said the four majority judges relied on the male-dominated history and traditions of the 1800s and added the justices in the majority ignored the progress women’s rights have made since the Civil War era.

In a statement, Governor Kim Reynolds praised the decision of Iowa’s highest court.

“There is no right more sacred than life, and nothing more worthy of our strongest defense than the innocent unborn. Iowa voters have spoken clearly through their elected representatives, both in 2018 when the original heartbeat bill was passed and signed into law, and again in 2023 when it passed by an even larger margin. I’m glad that the Iowa Supreme Court has upheld the will of the people of Iowa. 

“As the heartbeat bill finally becomes law, we are deeply committed to supporting women in planning for motherhood, and promoting fatherhood and its importance in parenting. We will continue to develop policies that encourage strong families, which includes promoting adoption and protecting in vitro fertilization (IVF). Families are the cornerstone of society, and it’s what will keep the foundation of our state and country strong for generations to come.”  Governor Kim Reynolds

Iowa Democratic Party Chair Rita Hart released a statement condemning the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision.

“Today Iowa women have been stripped of reproductive rights that they have maintained for more than 50 years We’ve already seen the effects that these new and extreme abortion bans have on states like Alabama — where IVF is in jeopardy — and in Texas, where women have been forced to miscarry in lobby restrooms because hospitals refused to help them while they’re experiencing medical emergencies.

“It’s obvious Kim Reynolds and Iowa Republicans do not trust women to make their own decisions regarding their own medical care or for doctors to use their best judgment while treating their patients. Republicans went too far with this abortion ban, and Iowa voters will hold them accountable this November.” Iowa Democratic Party Chair Rita Hart

Iowa is one of 12 states that have a six-week abortion ban. Iowa’s law does include exceptions in cases of rape, incest, fetal abnormality or to save the life of the mother. The law says women cannot be prosecuted for seeking or obtaining an abortion, but it will be up to the Board of Medicine to sanction Iowa doctors accused of violating the law.

The Iowa Board of Medicine approved general guidelines in February for when exceptions would be allowed. For instance, doctors must sign a certification that documents the reasons for abortions in cases of rape, incest, or when fetal abnormalities are cited.

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Craig Stevens
Craig Stevens
18 days ago

Great day for Iowa to protect the unborn living from murder in the womb.