Iowa judge blocks six-week abortion ban

 July 19, 2023

Iowa's new six-week abortion ban has been blocked by a court days after it was enacted by the state's Republican governor.

The ruling is a reminder of the difficulty lawmakers continue to face protecting life, even after the fall of Roe v. Wade made clear that there is no right to an abortion under the Constitution.

As an effect of the judge's ruling, abortion in Iowa will remain legal up to 20 weeks, for now.

Abortion ban blocked

The six-week ban includes exceptions for rape, incest, and cases where the life of the child or mother is endangered.

Governor Kim Reynolds blasted the ruling as an effort to "thwart the will of Iowans."

“The abortion industry’s attempt to thwart the will of Iowans and the voices of their elected representatives continues today, 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," she said in a statement.

Iowa's courts have gone back and forth on the legality of abortion. Reynolds previously signed a six-week ban in 2018, but a district court struck it down, saying it violated Iowa's constitution.

The state Supreme Court ruled last year that there is no fundamental right to an abortion in Iowa - reversing a previous holding, while leaving in place a standard that laws cannot impose an "undue burden" on abortion access. That is the same standard that protected abortion nationwide before Roe fell.

Courts continue to shield abortion

Judge Joseph Seidlin said he was bound by precedent to block Reynolds' new ban while litigation proceeds.

There remains "an underlying assert the constitutional rights of women seeking abortions in Iowa," Seidlin said.

"The current state of the law in Iowa remains, at least for the time being, that some level of constitutional protection applies to women seeking abortion in Iowa, requiring an undue burden standard for analysis."

Iowa Republicans have sought to pass a constitutional amendment clarifying once and for all there is no right to an abortion.

Of course, Iowa is far from the only state where courts have continued to hold up abortion restrictions. Florida governor Ron DeSantis (R) signed a six-week abortion ban in April, but it has yet to take effect.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
© 2015 - 2024 Conservative Institute. All Rights Reserved.