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Iowa top court rejects right to abortion, revives waiting period law -Breaking


© Reuters. Outside the Supreme Court of Washington, U.S.A. on June 6, 2022, anti-abortion protestors prayed. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/Files


By Brendan Pierson

(Reuters). -Iowa’s high court ruled on Friday that the constitution of the state does not contain a “fundamental” right to abortion. It reversed its finding four years ago, and reinstated a law requiring women wait 24 hours before obtaining an abortion.

Iowa’s Supreme Court ruled 5-2 in favor of the lower court that had blocked the law. The ruling was challenged by Planned Parenthood affiliates. This comes just as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to issue a major decision that will dramatically limit abortion rights at national levels.

Sarah Stoesz is president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood North Central States. She said that the group was deeply disappointed by the decision.

Additionally, the group noted that women seeking to have an abortion may still challenge the waiting period of 24 hours in lower courts. They claim that this is an unreasonable burden and that it will be challenging the decision.

Thomas Miller’s office, Iowa Attorney General, declined comment.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds is a Republican. In 2020, Reynolds signed the 24-hour wait-period law. In 2018, the Iowa Supreme Court struck down a previous law that required a 72-hour wait period. It found that the constitution of the state included an abortion fundamental right.

Justice Edward Mansfield wrote Friday for the majority, stating that the 2018 decision was “flawed and one-sided.”

Chief Justice Susan Christensen said in a dissident that the court was not quick enough to change its earlier decision. Reynolds had appointed four of seven justices, including her, since 2018.

The U.S. Supreme Court could reverse abortion rights. This will likely lead to more state-level legal disputes as Republican-led States move fast to adopt new restrictions on abortion.