Judge strikes down Iowa abortion law requiring 24-hour waiting period

An Iowa judge struck down a state law on Monday that required those seeking an abortion to wait at least 24 hours.

Iowa District Judge Mitchell Turner sided with Planned Parenthood of the Heartland to rule against the law signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds in 2020. The ruling claimed the law violated the state’s single subject law that requires every act to “embrace but one subject,” according to the Washington Examiner.

The ruling also said “under the Iowa constitution, that implicit in the concept of ordered liberty is the ability to decide whether to continue or terminate a pregnancy.”

“Given this clear precedent, this Court finds that Petitioners have established that a twenty-four hour waiting requirement is an invasion or threatened invasion ‘upon the fundamental rights of the people,’” Turner said in the ruling.

Both Sides Continue to Speak Out

“In a court ruling issued yesterday, an Iowa District Court wrongly struck down our efforts to protect all innocent human life,” Reynolds said in a statement.

“I will be working with our legal counsel to appeal this recent decision, and I believe we can win.”

Planned Parenthood North Central States Director of Public Affairs Jamie Burch Elliott celebrated the decision.

Elliott said, “Once again, the court righted a legislative overreach related to abortion care, and the court’s decision means access to safe and legal abortion in Iowa remains unchanged.”

The Des Moines Register noted the Iowa’s Attorney General’s office plans to appeal the ruling.

One of Many New Pro-Life Laws

The law was one of many pro-life laws passed by conservative legislators nationwide in 2020. Despite states strengthens laws to decrease abortions, courts have often ruled against applying them, leading many to argue the Supreme Court should address the issue.

The Supreme Court has already decided to hear a case regarding Mississippi’s state law later in 2021. With conservatives now holding  a 6-3 advantage in the court, some experts suggest the time is right for pro-life advocates.

The battle between conservative legislation and liberal courts continues to show the divided between America’s values and the attitudes of those leading the nation’s courts as the nation’s pro-life advocates continue to advance their cause.

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