Planned Parenthood of the Heartland went to court Wednesday to block Iowa’s six-week ban, a product of a one-day special session marathon on Tuesday Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) had called for the sole purpose of passing abortion restrictions.
The Iowa Supreme Court had deadlocked on a previous version of the six-week ban last month, which kept it permanently blocked. Reynolds quickly called the legislature into session to put a new ban on the books.
Planned Parenthood asserts that the legislature’s ban is a violation of the Iowa constitution’s right to due process, inalienable rights of persons clause and right to equal protection.
The petitioners write that the ban would have blocked 92 percent of the abortions performed by the regional Planned Parenthood in the first half of 2023 and 99 percent of the ones performed by another clinic petitioner based in Iowa City between October 2022 and May 2023.
“The Act blatantly violates the Iowa Constitution,” the petitioners write. “This case is squarely controlled by precedent from the Iowa Supreme Court holding that abortion restrictions must be evaluated under the undue burden standard.”
“Every single court that has considered a pre-viability abortion ban under an undue burden standard has concluded that the ban is unconstitutional,” they add.
The organizations also point out that the exceptions in the law — include for rape and incest that have been reported to police or health officials within a limited time window — use “muddled, confusing” language not found elsewhere in the Iowa Code.
They’re seeking a temporary injunction to keep the ban from taking effect when Reynolds signs it Friday, along with declaratory relief and a permanent injunction.
Read the petition here: