DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa Supreme Court has reversed a 2018 ruling that put in place a 24-hour waiting period and two appointments before an abortion could be performed. The ruling was hailed by conservative groups and criticized by progressive groups.
“Today’s ruling is a significant victory in our fight to protect the unborn,” said Governor Kim Reynolds in a statement. “The Iowa Supreme Court reversed its earlier 2018 decision, which made Iowa the most abortion-friendly state in the country. Every life is sacred and should be protected, and as long as I’m governor that is exactly what I will do.”
The head of the Iowa Democratic Party Ross Wilburn said the fight is not over when it comes to abortion rights.
“The majority of Iowans and the majority of Americans believe that abortion should be legal and not subject to the personal whims of a fringe minority,” said Wilburn. “I know that many of us feel afraid right now, but we have the power to elect Iowa Democrats this fall who will write the protections of Roe into law at both the federal and state level.”
The ruling followed a complex series of standards to decide which parameters should be applied to this law. The standards are called ‘strict scrutiny’, ‘undue burden’, or ‘rational basis’.
“Courts are saying we’re not gonna do strict scrutiny, but should we do rational basis or undue burden, is what I think the court recognized,” said Sally Frank, law professor at Drake University. “The US Supreme Court is very likely to overturn Roe vs. Wade and in a few weeks, at least that’s from some indication we got from watching the arguments, and that we got from the leaked Alito opinion.”
Rita Bettis Austen, legal director of the Iowa ACLU said, “obviously, the decision today is a devastating reversal of prior precedent the court held that abortion is not a fundamental right under the Iowa constitution. This is inconsistent with the way that most Iowans understand their own rights.”
Bob Vanderplaats of the Family Leader said, “the Iowa Supreme Court stood with the people of Iowa and with the rule of law, instead of the 2018 decision, which was made by basically unelected judges who were field of judicial activism.”