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Iowa Supreme Court blocks new abortion law


The ruling Thursday afternoon by Judge Jeffrey Farrell was prompted by Gov. Terry Branstad's announcement that he will sign a bill into law Friday that includes the waiting period. The legislation also requires women to wait 72 hours prior to getting an abortion.

"We are pleased that the court granted the temporary injunction, ruling on the side of Iowa women who need access to, and have a constitutional right, to safe, legal abortion", Suzanna de Baca, chief executive of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland said in a statement.

According to the lawsuit, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland provided over 2,100 medication abortions and over 1,200 surgical abortions in Iowa in the past year.

"The real work begins now because we have to spend a lot of time educating and making sure the public is aware of what the real facts are now", Pate said.

In arguing for the temporary injunction, Planned Parenthood attorney Alice Clapman said 44 women who had appointments at Iowa clinics would be adversely affected by the new law's mandatory three-day waiting period, and one woman already had to delay a two-hour medical procedure Thursday due to uncertainty over the law that would take effect upon the governor's signature.

Iowa's law, Hammes said after the signing, marked a "return to a culture that once again respects human life". A signing ceremony is slated for 8:30 a.m., at the state Capitol building.


"These are not speculative harms", Clapman said in refuting some of the state's arguments against delaying implementation. Other states with similar policies are Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Utah.

He said the measure, Senate File 471, would protect the unborn by banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and empower women to make informed decisions by requiring ultrasounds of an unborn child and a 72-hour waiting period for abortions at any stage of pregnancy.

According to the petition, the new law is one of the strictest requirements in the nation on women seeking an abortion. The state says these burdens are created by society and not the new law.

But Iowa Solicitor General Jeffrey Thompson pointed to Planned Parenthood's business hours and scheduling as the problem, not the law itself, the AP reports.

Governor Branstad signed state voter identification changes into law.

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