Iowa could soon become the next state to severely restrict — or even eliminate — abortion after the state’s highest court handed down a remarkable ruling that changes the game for Republican state lawmakers.
According to the Washington Examiner, the Iowa Supreme Court struck down a 2018 ruling that provided thick shielding for abortion by essentially deciding that such a practice was protected as a fundamental privacy right that was guaranteed by both the state, and the U.S. government.
However, the all-Republican bench of the Iowa Supreme Court decided the contrary over the weekend.
The ruling comes at the same time the entire nation awaits a ruling on a Mississippi abortion case which is expected to overturn the 1973 abortion case known as Roe v. Wade.
The Iowa high court’s ruling came as a result of an abortion provider in the state that filed suit against a state-mandated law from 2020 that required abortion seekers to wait one full day before an abortion procedure could take place.
The law had been struck down by Judge Mitchell E. Turner, who used the decision in a 2018 case as a basis for such a ruling, part of which read, “autonomy and dominion over one’s body go to the very heart of what it means to be free.”
But that all changed last week, as the Iowa Supreme Court had a vastly different take on the matter.
“All we hold today is that the Iowa Constitution is not the source of a fundamental right to an abortion necessitating a strict scrutiny standard of review for regulations affecting that right,” the high court ruled.
The governor’s thoughts
“The Iowa Supreme Court reversed its earlier 2018 decision, which made Iowa the most abortion-friendly state in the country. Every life is sacred and should be protected, and as long as I’m governor, that is exactly what I will do,” Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) said after the ruling.
The Iowa Supreme Court has now overruled its *2018* ruling that there was a fundamental right to abortion under the state’s constitution.
All it took was four years and four new justices. pic.twitter.com/dzO8MEIXYM
— Douglas Keith (@DouglasKeith_) June 17, 2022
Critics of the ruling have labeled the decision as an “attack” on women’s rights, not unlike critics of those defending Roe.
Only time will tell how the situation in Iowa plays out, but it’s clear that abortion decisions taken to its highest court will be tested by an all-conservative bench.