DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa District Court Judge Celene Gogerty on Monday declined to lift the 2019 injunction blocking Iowa’s fetal heartbeat abortion ban.
Gogerty, appointed to the bench by Gov. Kim Reynolds in 2018, said she did not believe she had the authority to lift the injunction. She also said she did not believe that the state made a convincing argument. “The state has failed to show that there has been a substantial change in the law under the Iowa Constitution,” she said.
The Iowa Supreme Court overturned a previous ruling finding a constitutional right to abortion in Iowa’s Constitution prior to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling left in place the undue burden test provided in the 1992 Supreme Court decision in Casey. That standard was applied in the 2015 Planned Parenthood v. Iowa Board of Medicine ruling that struck down the Board’s telemedicine abortion ban.
The U.S. Supreme Court decision led Reynolds to ask the district court to lift the injunction.
“I’m very disappointed in the ruling filed today by the district court, but regardless of the outcome, this case was always going to the Iowa Supreme Court. We will appeal this decision immediately. As the Iowa and US Supreme Courts have made clear, there is no fundamental right to an abortion. The decision of the people’s representatives to protect life should be honored, and I believe the court will ultimately do so. As long as I’m Governor, I will continue to fight for the sanctity of life and for the unborn,” Reynolds said in a released statement.
State Senator Sarah Trone Garriott, D-West Des Moines, the Iowa Senate Minority Whip and ranking member of the Iowa Senate Health and Human Services Committee praised the ruling.
“An impartial judge has once again blocked Republican politicians’ extreme attack on Iowans’ health and freedom. While this is a positive development that will preserve Iowans’ basic rights in the near term, we all know where this is headed: Republicans want to ban abortion — at six weeks or altogether if they can,” she said.
Trone Garriott pledged that Democrats would fight to protect abortion rights for Iowans.
Read the ruling below:Fetal-Heartbeat-order-DocumentCloud