Charisma Caucus

Judge Blocks Iowa Fetal Heartbeat Law

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (Gov. Kim Reynolds Facebook page)

Republican Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds expected a court challenge when she signed a bill into law in early May outlawing abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

She's now getting one, thanks to abortion groups like Planned Parenthood.

The Des Moines Register reported Friday that Judge Michael Huppert agreed to temporarily block the most restrictive abortion law in the country from taking effect in July under a deal struck between the state and a handful of abortion rights groups, including Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa and the Emma Goldman Clinic.

The advocacy groups contend that the legislation signed into law by Reynolds, which bans most abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected, is unconstitutional. They argue that the law "violates Iowa women's due-process rights, their rights to liberty, safety and happiness and their rights to equal protection under Iowa's constitution.

Iowa lawmakers approved the bill on May 2 and, two days later, Reynolds signed into law. Should the law take effect, abortions would be banned around the sixth week of pregnancy. The Register reported that the advocacy groups contend that many women are not even aware they are pregnant at such a time.

The Register reported that Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller "refused to defend the law." In his place, the Thomas More Society, a conservative Chicago-based law firm, has agreed to handle defense of the law—for free.

The Register also reported that filing the lawsuit in state court could "thwart" Thomas More Society's goal of "taking a legal challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court, with the hope of overturning Roe v Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that stated women have a constitutionally protected right to abortion.

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