DES MOINES, Iowa – Governor Kim Reynolds is asking a district court to lift an injunction on a 2018 Iowa law that banned abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, often before a woman knows she is pregnant.
Iowa lawmakers passed the legislation and Reynolds signed it into law but Planned Parenthood challenged its constitutionality. The organization based its argument on a 2018 Iowa Supreme Court ruling that said the right to abortion was a fundamental right protected by Iowa’s Constitution.
A Polk County district court judge agreed and a temporary injunction was granted in June of 2018 with a permanent injunction taking effect on January 22, 2019.
The governor, represented by Alliance Defending Freedom and Iowa attorney Alan Ostergren, has filed a motion to dismiss that injunction. The brief supporting the motion claims that changes in Iowa and federal law mean the injunction should be dissolved.
It cites a June 2022 ruling by Iowa’s Supreme Court that said the 2018 court wrongly determined abortion was one of the fundamental privacy rights guaranteed by state and federal law. The brief also cites the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which provided federal protections for abortion.
In Thursday’s statement announcing the effort to get the injunction dismissed, the governor said, “The historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe has given us a new hope and pathway forward to challenge the Iowa court’s previous decision.”
She continued with, “Life and death are determined by a person’s heartbeat, and I believe that includes our unborn children. As long as I’m Governor, I will stand up for the sanctity of life and fight to protect the precious and innocent unborn lives.”
Iowa Democratic Party Chair Ross Wilburn issued this statement after learning of Reynolds’ motion:
“Control over your own body gets at the heart of what it means to be free and Iowa Democrats believe that everyone has the right to decide their own destiny.
The majority of Iowans agree that abortion should be legal and this move by Kim Reynolds is against the will of the people and voters will hold her accountable in November.
Iowa Democrats are working to protect reproductive freedoms at every level of government, while Kim Reynolds and Iowa Republicans will do everything in their power to outlaw abortion in our state.
This fight is not over – and I’m proud to stand alongside the Iowans organizing for a future where our personal freedoms are protected.”Ross Wilburn, IDP Chair