Judge allows Iowa abortion waiting period to go into effect

Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa are going to court, asking a judge to issue an emergency order that blocks implementation of a three-day waiting period for abortions in Iowa.

The law also prohibits abortions after 20 weeks when strong scientific evidence indicates unborn babies can feel pain. Gov. Branstad signed it into law at 8:30 a.m. Friday.

The lawsuit - filed by the ACLU of Iowa and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America on behalf of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland - contends the measure contains provisions that are unconstitutional violations of women's equal protection and rights to legal abortion.

"The act thus imposes a medically unnecessary mandatory delay", they argued, adding that physicians who violate the mandatory delay and additional trip requirements are subject to discipline.

The state will have an opportunity to respond to the court's decision on Monday.

Terry Branstaad signed a voter identification law Friday morning that requires voters to show ID at polls beginning in 2019 and reduces the state's early voting period to 29 days.




After the hearing, Suzanne de Baca, president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, issued a statement expressing disappointment with Farrell's decision to deny the temporary injunction. Additionally, he said numerous barriers cited by the challengers were self-imposed by Planned Parenthood's business decisions, rather than created by the new law.

Bob Vander Plaats of the Family Leader organization applauded the legislation but said the ultimate goal for the coalition of Iowa groups is to protect unborn life at conception. "This ruling means that dozens of women today are able to access the care they need".

She says one woman had driven seven hours to her appointment Friday and then was told she couldn't have the procedure that day.

In the two hours we saw patients between the governor signing this legislation into law and when the temporary injunction was ordered, havoc was wreaked on many patients' lives.

Iowa Solicitor General Jeffrey Thompson says there is not a constitutional right to an abortion on demand.

Clapman argued the mandatory 72-hour waiting period would create an undue burden on patients by forcing multiple appointments, noting low-income rural patients would struggle the most with such guidelines.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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