On Monday, an Iowa judge temporarily blocked a new six-week abortion ban from remaining in effect. Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the ban into law on Friday at a prominent political gathering hosted by an evangelical Christian group. She told attendees that it represented “an ironclad commitment to the smallest and most vulnerable among us.”
Polk County District Court Judge Joseph Seidlin’s order means the law will remain on hold while the legal challenge plays out in the court system. Seidlin wrote: “The court will grant the temporary injunction requested here. In doing so, it recognizes that there are good, honorable and intelligent people — morally, politically and legally — on both sides of this upsetting societal and constitutional dilemma. Patience and perseverance are also hallmark traits on both sides, traits that continue to deserve respect. The court believes it must follow current Iowa Supreme Court precedent and preserve the status quo ante while this litigation.”
Gov Reynolds said in a statement Monday in response to the injunction: “The abortion industry’s attempt to thwart the will of Iowans and the voices of their elected representatives continues today, but I will fight this all the way to the Iowa Supreme Court where we expect a decision that will finally provide justice for the unborn.”
With the law blocked for the time being, abortion restrictions in the state will revert to the previous law, which allowed abortion until the 20th week of pregnancy. The new law includes exceptions for the life of the woman, miscarriages and fetal abnormalities deemed by a physician “incompatible with life,” as well as for pregnancies resulting from rape and incest. For those exceptions to apply, the rape must have been reported to law enforcement or a “public or private health agency” — which includes a family doctor — within 45 days, and the incest must have been reported to any of those officials or entities within 140 days.
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