Iowa Judge Pauses State’s 6-Week Abortion Ban

July 18, 2023

Polk County District Court Judge Joseph Seidlin on Monday ordered a 72-hour injunction against Iowa implementing its six-week abortion ban.

With the block in place, abortion in the state is once again legal up to 20 weeks while the challenge brought by Planned Parenthood of the Heartland moves through the Iowa’s court system.

“The court believes it must follow current Iowa Supreme Court precedent and preserve the status quo ante while this litigation and adversarial presentation which our Supreme Court has invited moves forward,” said Judge Seidlin in granting the temporary injunction.

The Republican-controlled Iowa Legislature held a special session Tuesday night a week ago in order to pass a bill restricting abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signed it into law on Friday. 

Reynolds has vowed to fight the injunction, saying in a statement Monday, “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.”

Meanwhile, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States Ruth Richardson said on a call with press that Monday’s ruling “will once again have access to safe and legal abortion, and control over their bodily autonomy as this harmful law makes its way through the courts.”

In passing the legislation, Iowa joined at least seven other states that have passed so-called “heartbeat bills,” banning abortion after six weeks, including Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, North Dakota and Texas.

PHOTO: Iowa State Capitol

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