Iowa's Attorney General Won't Defend The State's New Abortion Ban

Iowa's Attorney General Won't Defend The State's New Abortion Ban

But Tuesday's lawsuit was filed in state court, not federal court.

"The timing makes it an nearly complete ban on abortions in our state", said Emma Goldman Clinic Co-director Francine Thompson. The battle over this law could eventually make its way to the high court as well.

A lawsuit asking the court to block Iowa's newest abortion law has officially been filed.

"We haven't heard much out of Iowa until the past couple of years", said state policy analyst Elizabeth Nash of the Guttmacher Institute, a national research group that supports abortion rights and tracks abortion legislation. It seeks an injunction to halt the law's implementation.

"We've moved quickly to challenge this cruel and reckless law because it can not be allowed to take effect", Rita Bettis, legal director for the ACLU of Iowa, told a news conference.

Iowa Republicans vowed to pass what is considered the toughest abortion limit in the nation with the hope that it would be the one that gives the U.S. Supreme Court another opportunity to reverse the 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade. "In fact, we welcome the courts hearing the debate on the question of when life begins".

The Iowa attorney general announced that he would not defend the law because it would undermine rights and protections for women.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, anticipated the legal challenge, a spokeswoman said.

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The legislation would require doctors to conduct an abdominal ultrasound to test for a fetal heartbeat.

Exceptions include cases of medical necessity in a physician's judgment, rape that is reported within 45 days, incest reported within 140 days, or where a physician certifies a fetal abnormality that is "incompatible with life".

Critics say at six weeks, many women don't even know they're pregnant. It does not specify criminal or civil penalties for those breaking the law. Earlier versions had called for felony charges against doctors but not women seeking an abortion.

What backers of the fetal-heartbeat law may not have counted on was the move by plaintiffs to bring the action in state court rather than federal court, meaning the challenge to the law won't end up before the U.S. Supreme Court because the suit citing the state constitution can not be removed to federal court, according Rita Bettis, legal director for the ACLU of Iowa. The Emma Goldman Clinic of Iowa City, an abortion provider, is also a co-plaintiff in the case. "Not only is this ban blatantly unconstitutional, it's also extremely harmful to women".

"It's a law that has been passed by politicians who are out of touch with the reality of women's lives", Thompson said.

Pro-choice advocates filed a lawsuit Monday to stop Iowa's new law banning abortions after roughly six weeks.

"Today, we're fighting back in court for every person's individual rights and freedoms, which go to the heart of who we are as a country", Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement. The Iowa Supreme Court has yet to issue an opinion in that case.

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