Planned Parenthood, ACLU Sue Iowa Governor Over Fetal Heartbeat Abortion Law

ACLU of Iowa calls law'cruel and reckless.
								Posted May. 15 2018 3:55 PM					Updated May. 15 2018 3:55 PM								
								Posted By Mike Bunge

ACLU of Iowa calls law'cruel and reckless. Posted May. 15 2018 3:55 PM Updated May. 15 2018 3:55 PM Posted By Mike Bunge

Their lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Polk County District Court, they announced at a press conference Tuesday.

Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed their lawsuit against Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Board of Medicine in an attempt to strike down Iowa's newly passed law banning all abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, a Democrat, has decided he will not represent the state in this case. "In the 45 years since Roe, no federal or state court has upheld such a unsafe law".

"In the 45 years since Roe, no federal or state court has upheld such a risky law", Rita Bettis, ACLU of Iowa legal director, said in a statement.

The ban will, if the state executive council approves, be defended by the Thomas More Society, an anti-abortion legal group, the letter said.

Miller's office defended the state when Planned Parenthood sued over the 2017 law that mandated a 72-hour waiting period for women seeking abortions.

"We feel very confident moving forward with it", said Reynolds, who talked to reporters in Davenport after a Quad-Cities Chamber of Commerce luncheon, "and so it's important that, first of all, this is about life, it's about protecting life and that's first and foremost the priority, and we have somebody that has agreed to represent us and do it at no cost to the taxpayers".

The law contains certain ultrasound requirements, though Tuesday's lawsuit only challenges the heartbeat ban portion of the law. She said less than 2 percent of the abortions performed at her clinic a year ago were before or around the six-week mark.

If the ban takes effect, Iowa women would have to travel out of state to obtain an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected. It argues the new law violates the Iowa Constitution.

Other plaintiffs in the lawsuit include Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, the affiliate's medical director and the Emma Goldman Clinic in Iowa City.

Governor Reynolds said in a statement when she signed the bill, "I believe that all innocent life is precious and sacred, and as governor, I pledged to do everything in my power to protect it". "We will not back down until every person has the freedom and opportunity to make the health care decisions that are best for them and their families".

Planned Parenthood called the law "blatantly unconstitutional" and noted that many women don't even know they're pregnant at six weeks.

Abortion opponents hope such a lawsuit could bring the divisive abortion issue back before the U.S. Supreme Court in the belief that the 5-4 conservative majority could curtail abortion access or ban it outright. A challenge against the 72-hour law is now pending before the Iowa Supreme Court.

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