NATIONAL NEWS

Iowa’s new abortion ban is challenged in court, a day after it was passed by GOP lawmakers

Jul 12, 2023, 9:18 AM

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A legal challenge was filed Wednesday to block Iowa’s new legislation banning most abortions after roughly six weeks of pregnancy, launching what will likely be a lengthy and emotional court battle just hours after the Legislature’s late-night vote.

The bill was passed with exclusively Republican support in a rare, one-day legislative burst lasting more than 14 hours. That’s despite the vocal — and sometimes tense — objections from Democratic lawmakers and abortion advocates protesting at the Capitol.

Gov. Kim Reynolds says she will sign the bill, which would take immediate effect, on Friday.

The challenge, filed by the ACLU of Iowa, Planned Parenthood North Central States and the Emma Goldman Clinic, requests that a district court temporarily put the soon-to-be law on hold as the courts assess its constitutionality.

Abortion is currently legal in Iowa up to 20 weeks of pregnancy, but that would change with the stroke of Reynolds’ pen Friday. The new legislation prohibits almost all abortions once cardiac activity can be detected, which is usually around six weeks of pregnancy and before many women know they are pregnant.

Reynolds declined in June to reinstate a practically identical law that she signed in 2018.

“The Iowa Supreme Court questioned whether this legislature would pass the same law they did in 2018, and today they have a clear answer,” Reynolds said in a statement. “The voices of Iowans and their democratically elected representatives cannot be ignored any longer, and justice for the unborn should not be delayed.”

Planned Parenthood North Central States has said they will refer patients out of state if they’re scheduled for abortions in the next few weeks. The organization, the largest abortion provider in Iowa, will continue to provide care to patients before cardiac activity is detected.

But the organization’s preparations for legal challenges were underway well before the final votes Tuesday.

“The ACLU of Iowa, Planned Parenthood, and the Emma Goldman Clinic remain committed to protecting the reproductive rights of Iowans to control their bodies and their lives, their health, and their safety —including filing a lawsuit to block this reckless, cruel law,” ACLU of Iowa Executive Director Mark Stringer said in a statement.

There are limited circumstances under the measure that would allow for abortion after that point in a pregnancy where cardiac activity is detected — such as rape, if reported to law enforcement or a health provider within 45 days; incest, if reported within 145 days; if the fetus has a fetal abnormality “incompatible with life;” and if the pregnancy is endangering the life of the pregnant woman.

A district court found the 2018 law unconstitutional in 2019 based on rulings by the Iowa’s Supreme Court that had affirmed a woman’s fundamental constitutional right to abortion.

After both bodies overturned those rulings last year, the governor sought to reinstate the 2018 law. But the state’s high court deadlocked last month without ruling on the merits of an abortion ban, leaving that law permanently blocked and leaving open the question of how the courts would rule on a new one.

Most Republican-led states have drastically limited abortion access in the year since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and handed authority on abortion law to the states. More than a dozen states have bans with limited exceptions and one state, Georgia, bans abortion after cardiac activity is detected. Several other states have similar restrictions that are on hold pending court rulings.

National News

Associated Press

US investigating some Jeep and Ram vehicles after getting complaints of abrupt engine stalling

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. auto safety regulators are investigating complaints that some Ram pickup trucks and Jeep Wagoneer SUVs can lose power, shift into park and apply the emergency brake. The probe announced Monday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration covers about 150,000 vehicles made by Stellantis from the 2022 model year. All have […]

21 minutes ago

Associated Press

US-Russian journalist convicted in a rapid, secret trial, court records show

A Russian court has convicted Alsu Kurmasheva, a Russian-American journalist for the U.S. government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, of spreading false information about the Russian army and sentenced her to 6½ years in prison after a secret trial, court records and officials said Monday. The conviction in the city of Kazan came on Friday, the […]

45 minutes ago

FILE - A Delta Air Lines jet leaves the gate, Friday, July 19, 2024, at Logan International Airport...

Associated Press

Air travel delays continue, though most airlines have recovered from global tech outage

Delays at some airports continue after a faulty software update caused havoc worldwide and led to the grounding by almost all airlines of a number of flights, but the impact is receding. Total cancellations within, into or out of the U.S. earlyl Monday totaled 758, according to the latest data from FlightAware, which is greater […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

2024 Election Latest: Harris vows to ‘earn and win’ party nomination after Biden drops out

President Joe Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, ending his bid for reelection following a disastrous debate with Donald Trump that raised doubts about his fitness for office just four months before the election. Meanwhile, Vice President Kamala Harris is being thrust into the most scrutinizing of spotlights, […]

2 hours ago

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan speaks to employees in Washington, Thur...

Associated Press

EPA awards $4.3 billion to fund projects in 30 states to reduce climate pollution

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency is awarding $4.3 billion in grants to fund projects in 30 states to reduce climate pollution. The money will go to 25 projects targeting greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, electric power, commercial and residential buildings, industry, agriculture and waste and materials management. The grants are paid for by […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Stock market today: Asian shares fall after Wall St ends worst week; Biden withdraw from 2024 race

Asian stocks were mostly lower Monday after President Joe Biden exited the 2024 race. The downbeat start to the week followed losses Friday on Wall Street as businesses around the world scrambled to contain disruptions from a massive technology outage. U.S. futures were little changed and oil prices rose. Biden announced his withdrawal from the […]

9 hours ago

Iowa’s new abortion ban is challenged in court, a day after it was passed by GOP lawmakers