Judge blocks Iowa abortion law requiring 24-hour waiting period

Judge blocks Iowa abortion law requiring 24-hour waiting period

An Iowa law requiring women to wait 24 hours before getting an abortion was permanently blocked by a district judge on Monday.

District Judge Mitchell E. Turner ruled the law was unconstitutional because it violated a 2018 decision by the Iowa Supreme Court that protects abortion rights. The law is also unconstitutional, Turner ruled, because the state legislature violated the Iowa Constitution’s “single-subject rule” when it included the measure with another unrelated bill. Turner also canceled a trial for the case that was set to take place in January 2022. The decision comes as GOP-led states across the country have moved to enact anti-abortion laws and is the latest defeat for Iowa on the issue.

Iowa bars most abortions after 20 weeks and South Carolina, Idaho and Oklahoma have codified bans on abortion at the onset of a fetal heartbeat. Arkansas and Oklahoma have enacted near-total abortion bans, and Montana banned the procedure at 20 weeks. Republican Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the 24-hour delay bill into law in June 2020 but Turner issued a temporary injunction blocking it before it went into effect. The lawsuit was brought by Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and Dr. Jill Meadows, with the ACLU of Iowa and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America providing representation. Lynn Hicks, chief of staff to Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, told CNN Wednesday the office filed a notice to appeal the decision on Tuesday.

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