The state’s appeal, filed by Attorney General Brenna Bird, challenges the temporary injunction granted by District Court Judge Joseph Seidlin last Monday blocking enforcement of a new law banning abortions at approximately six weeks after the ACLU of Iowa sued on behalf of Planned Parenthood North Central States and the Emma Goldman Clinic.
With the injunction, abortions are currently allowed up to 20 weeks.
Reynolds called special session after the Iowa Supreme Court in a split 3-3 opinion failed to lift a permanent injunction of the six week abortion ban passed in 2018. Three justices who were against lifting the injunction called the ban a “hypothetical law” since it was passed before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 2022. Justice Dana Oxley recused herself from the case that allowed the Iowa Supreme Court to be deadlocked.
The Iowa Legislature passed, and Reynolds signed a bill identical to the one passed in 2018 that ban abortions at the time a fetal heartbeat is detected at approximately six weeks.
The law allows exceptions for rape and incest (reported to law enforcement, public health agency, or physician), if a physician states there is a fetal abnormality incompatible with life, if there is a miscarriage that requires a D&C, or a medical emergency that threatens a mother’s life or will “create a serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman.”
“I am glad that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear our appeal. I look forward to continuing to defend the Heartbeat Law and protect the right to life in court,” Bird said in a released statement.
Read the Supreme Court order below:23-1145_OAIG_482958-1