An Iowa judge has blocked a state law restricting abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, upholding a three-year-old court ruling as unconstitutional.
On Monday, Judge Selene Gogerty said there was no legal recourse in court to overturn a 2019 permanent injunction against the state’s fetal heartbeat law. Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds has vowed to appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court.
“We are very disappointed with the district court’s ruling today, but regardless of the outcome, this case was always going to the Iowa Supreme Court,” Reynolds said. “We will immediately appeal this decision.”
Iowa currently bans abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, but Reynolds has asked the courts to overturn a 2019 decision that overturned a bill he signed last year. The “Heartbeat Act” made it illegal to perform abortions once a fetal heartbeat was detected, usually around six weeks of pregnancy. The law included exemptions for emergency medical care, consanguineous marriage, and rape.
MAINSTREAM PRESS RUMORS Dismiss “fetal heartbeat” and “late-term abortion” as valid conditions.
Abortion providers have called the six-week limit “extreme and dangerous” and many women don’t know they’re six weeks pregnant. Planned Parenthood, Iowa’s largest abortion provider, led a successful lawsuit in 2019 challenging the heartbeat law as unconstitutional.
“The decision affirms abortion access and reflects the will of a growing majority of Iowans who support safe, legal abortion,” said Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa PAC. “Every victory — whether in court or in the Legislature — ensures that Iowans can turn to Planned Parenthood for the care they need.”
Reynolds said that because of decisions earlier this year by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Iowa Supreme Court that found there is no constitutional right to abortion, an Iowa judge should overturn a 2019 decision blocking the heartbeat law.
AMERICANS SUPPORT ABORTION Abolition Banned by ROE v. WADE, BUT CONTINUES TO SUPPORT ROE – WHY LOOK AT THE MEDIA?
Planned Parenthood advocates argued that there was no precedent or legal support for the judge to overturn the decision, which ended years ago. They argued that the legislature should pass a new law, and the judge agreed.
In his ruling Monday, Gogerty wrote that state law does not give him the authority to overturn the permanent ban and allow the new abortion law to go into effect. Gogerty wrote that even if it had the power, the Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling that there is no constitutional right to abortion would not fundamentally change how the Abortion Act is viewed under the Iowa Constitution, the Associated Press reported.
In his statement, Reynolds reiterated that there is no constitutional right to abortion and expressed optimism that the five-judge state Supreme Court, to which Reynolds nominates, will ultimately side with those who oppose abortion.
“As the Iowa and US Supreme Courts have made clear, there is no fundamental right to an abortion,” Reynolds said. “The people’s decision to protect life must be respected, and I believe the court will ultimately do so. As governor, I will continue to fight for the sanctity of life and the unborn.”