Iowans could travel to IL if abortion ban takes effect

Iowans could travel to IL if abortion ban takes effect

If allowed to take effect on July 1 as planned, the law would ban most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, around the sixth week of pregnancy.

Pro-choice advocates filed a lawsuit Monday to stop Iowa's new law banning abortions after roughly six weeks.

Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union filed the challenge Tuesday in Des Moines.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said she was "confident" facing the lawsuit and the state would defend the law at no cost to taxpayers.

Iowa Republicans vowed to pass what is considered the toughest abortion limit in the nation with the hope that it would be the one that gives the U.S. Supreme Court another opportunity to reverse the 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade. "In the 45 years since Roe, no federal or state court has upheld such a risky law".

The state legislature previous year also passed a 72-hour waiting requirement for women seeking an abortion. Democrat Tom Miller said he based his decision on a belief that the measure "would undermine rights and protections for women", the Associated Press reported.

"We believe that the Iowa Constitution protects abortion rights as strongly, if not more so, than the federal constitution", Bettis said.

The lawsuit names Reynolds and the Iowa Board of Medicine as defendants.

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"This law must not go into effect", said Dr. Jill Meadows, M.D., co-plaintiff and Planned Parenthood of the Heartland Medical Director.

"We've moved quickly to challenge this cruel and reckless law because it can not be allowed to take effect", Rita Bettis, legal director for the ACLU of Iowa, told a news conference.

Similar lawsuits are underway in MS, which passed a ban on abortion after 15 weeks, and Kentucky, which banned abortions after 11 weeks.

"The cutoff period of this bill at around six weeks simply does not work for women".

The law contains a narrow exception in cases where a person's life is endangered by the pregnancy, and for cases of rape and incest.

A 2017 Iowa law that requires a minimum 72-hour waiting period before obtaining an abortion is now blocked while the Iowa Supreme Court decides whether to strike it down.

Francine Thompson, co-director of the Emma Goldman Clinic in Iowa City, said the law would have a devastating impact on the women her clinic sees every day.

"The timing essentially makes it an almost-complete ban on abortions in our state. The requirement of reporting rape within 45 days, for example, is completely out of touch with the reality that survivors of those horrendous crimes live with", she said.

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