Iowa Judge Temporarily Blocks State’s New Ban On Abortion

Iowa Judge Joseph Seidlin temporarily blocked the state’s new ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. This means that abortion will once again be legal in Iowa up to 20 weeks of pregnancy while the court assesses the law’s constitutionality.

Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-Iowa) signed the legislation just days ago, attempting to prohibit all abortions once cardiac activity can become detected; most women are not even aware that they are pregnant at the six-week threshold.

Republican state lawmakers approved the measure last week, and Seidlin held a hearing on the matter on Friday after pro-choice groups and healthcare providers filed lawsuits opposing the GOP effort. Seidlin asserted that he would take the issue under advisement, and announced his decision on Monday.

His ruling does state that, though the measure has been temporarily blocked, Iowa’s Board of Medicine should continue creating rules for enforcing the law; this allows healthcare providers to prepare for the possibility of the legislation taking effect.


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However, Seidlin’s verdict is contingent on the “undue burden” test, which determines whether the abortion restriction will place a substantial obstacle in the way of those who seek emergency reproductive care. Using this standard, state abortion activists will most likely argue that the law violates the Constitution.

In a statement issued on Monday, Reynolds announced her intention to fight the ruling.

“The abortion industry’s attempt to thwart the will of Iowans and the voices of their elected representatives continues today,” she wrote. “But I will fight this all the way to the Iowa Supreme Court where we expect a decision that will finally provide justice for the unborn.”

A Des Moines Register poll found that 60% of Iowans support legal abortion in most cases.

Ava Lombardi

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