DES MOINES, Iowa — Those seeking access to abortion have a new hurdle to face in Iowa.
The state’s 24-hour waiting period is in effect as of July 8, meaning that anyone who wants to get an abortion in the state will have to wait before undergoing the procedure.
The 24-hour waiting period stems from House File 594, which was signed into law in June of 2020. A district court would then go on to block the law from being applied with an injunction.
Several weeks ago, the Iowa Supreme Court took up this case and ruled that the state’s constitution does not protect a women’s right for an abortion. This bumped back the 24-hour waiting period to the district court, where it was first held up. And pending any challenges to the law, women’s reproductive health clinics will now be operating under it.
“Planned Parenthood has already implemented the 24-hour waiting period and so there is no impact for us,” said Sheena Dooley, the communications manager for Planned Parenthood North Central States. “It’s our understanding that the case hasn’t been handed back to the district court, but we are expecting that to happen today.”
Abortion is still allowed up to 20 weeks in the state. The 24-hour waiting period isn’t a drastic change, and Planned Parenthood said it wouldn’t change how their clinics operate. But a woman in the metro still feels it is unnecessary.
“Putting legislation on women’s bodies feels violating in a lot of ways,” said Kara Priest, a Des Moines resident. “I think it is good that they are still allowing abortion here, I can’t speak to the 24-hour waiting protocol as much.”
Priest also added that, in her point of view, most people around her age agree with some types of abortion. So it was puzzling to her why some of these restrictions are being passed.
“I think what is also upsetting is that, I know I am a millennial woman, but I feel like everyone I have seen doesn’t really support what is happening,” said Priest. “So it is just upsetting if everyone you know is in support of abortion, why are we having these changes?”
The law could be held up in court again if a judge files an injunction. But as of right now clinics and patients in the state will have to wait 24 hours before being able to provide or have an abortion.