DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa Supreme Court on Friday blocked a law that provides for a 72-hour wait before a woman can get an abortion. The court ruled that the law violated the Constitution of Iowa and was based on a lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood of Iowa and the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa. The organizations sued the state over the law, which was approved by lawmakers last year.
A district judge upheld the wait in September, but the Supreme Court blocked his implementation until he heard arguments from both sides.
The waiting period is part of a law that prohibits most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The 20-week ban is in place and is not a legal challenge.
Planned Parenthood argued that the court "should join the supreme courts in numerous other states that have determined that the right to choose abortion, which deserves greater protection, was granted under the federal constitution." The organization said that Supreme courts in 1
The Iowa Supreme Court has previously recognized privacy as a fundamental right. Planned Parenthood argued that in this case, the court should conclude that abortion is a core right of privacy and that other fundamental rights of the Iowa Constitution should be addressed.
"Iowa has decided to incriminate women who choose abortion more than almost all other states in violation of both the Iowa Constitution and federal law," argued the group's lawyer, Alice Clapman, in court rulings.
Clapman said that women seeking abortions in Iowa "are already making cautious decisions and are already facing massive obstacles in making their decision." The compulsory waiting period, also known as "informed choice", would make these obstacles significant worse, she wrote
The Attorney General of Iowa Jeffrey Thompson, who defends the law for the state, argues that the protection of unborn life is a state of highest order interest. He said that the decision to terminate a pregnancy is not a fundamental right of the Iowa Constitution and that the waiting period gives women time to provide information about the procedure that the abortion provider must provide, including the ability to see or hear an ultrasound to consider fetal heartbeat
"The informed choice decision does not cancel the woman's final decision, but reflects the legislature's hope that some women will make the decision after receiving the information and after some time, Another decision to make a pregnancy, which they otherwise could have ended, "he wrote in court documents.
Iowa's legislators also passed a so-calledearlier this year which would prohibit abortions after finding a fetal heartbeat about six weeks after a pregnancy. Supporters hoped that Roe v. Wade, the breakthrough decision that establishes a woman's right to terminate pregnancies until a fetus is viable. But critics argued that the bill would ban abortions before some women even knew they were pregnant. This law will also be suspended until a legal challenge exists.
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