The Iowa Supreme Court questioned whether this legislature would pass the same law they did in 2018, and today they have a clear answer,’ Reynolds said.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, a Republican, took a momentous step on Friday by signing a new law, delivering a clear message to the state’s highest court on the abortion issue.
The law imposes a ban on abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, effectively prohibiting the procedure after approximately six weeks. It does, however, include exceptions in cases of rape, incest, fatal fetal abnormalities, threats to the mother’s life, and miscarriages. Notably, the law places the primary responsibility for punishment on abortion providers rather than women seeking the procedure.
This law was prompted by the Iowa Supreme Court’s recent inability to reach a decision on the legality of the state’s 2018 heartbeat abortion ban. With a 3-3 deadlock, the law remained blocked from enforcement.
Three justices supported its implementation, referencing the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade. Conversely, three other justices, led by Justice Thomas Waterman, argued that the legislature should reenact the law to demonstrate ongoing support for the abortion restriction.
Governor Reynolds expressed her unwavering commitment to the bill, stressing that the voices of Iowans and their elected representatives should not be overlooked, and justice for the unborn should not be delayed. The bill’s passage during a special legislative session underscores Iowa’s dedication to protecting life.
Kristi Judkins, executive director of Iowa Right to Life, emphasized their determination to save lives and shield women from the risks associated with abortion. Data suggests that pro-life laws enacted in various states can significantly reduce the number of abortions performed each year, debunking the notion that such bans force women into dangerous and illegal alternatives.
Despite progress in pro-life legislation, those supporting abortion rights are employing various strategies to safeguard access to abortion. These tactics include easing the distribution of abortion pills, providing legal protection and financial aid for interstate abortion travel, seeking to enshrine abortion rights in state constitutions, establishing new abortion facilities near state borders, and designating liberal states as sanctuaries for those seeking to bypass or violate pro-life laws.
President Joe Biden’s push to codify a federal “right” to abortion aims to restore and expand the Roe status quo, potentially hindering states from implementing pro-life laws. However, the Iowa Supreme Court’s previous confirmation that the state’s constitution does not include a right to abortion reinforces Iowa’s position on this contentious matter.