Iowa Supreme Court to rule on 24 hour waiting period on Friday, pro-lifers are very hopeful

By Dave Andrusko

Tomorrow is D-Day for The Iowa Supreme Court.  According to the pro-abortion Des Moines Register, the justices are “ considering an appeal from the state, which seeks to overturn a lower court’s decision blocking a 2020 law imposing a 24-hour waiting period before women can get an abortion,” William Morris wrote. “Planned Parenthood of the Heartland successfully sued, arguing the law was unconstitutional under a 2018 Iowa Supreme Court decision that blocked a similar 72-hour waiting period.”

The bill “says a woman could not have an abortion for at least 24 hours after an initial appointment,” The Des Moines Register’s  Gruber-Miller and Ian Richardson reported. “At that appointment, the woman would have to be given the opportunity to view an ultrasound scan of the fetus and information about abortion and other options, including adoption.” 

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland filed a lawsuit in Johnson County District Court, seeking an injunction against the bill. PPH (joined by the ACLU) and the state were in front of Judge Mitchell Turner who, to no one’s surprise, granted PPH a temporary injunction preventing enforcement.

There are 29 states which have passed waiting period legislation. They range from 18 hours (Indiana) to 24 hours [18 states)to 48 hours (three states), to 72 hours (seven states).

There  has been considerable turnover in the seven-member Iowa Supreme Court since 2018. “Kim Reynolds, a Republican, has appointed four new justices to the court, replacing two Democrat-appointed justices and two Republican-appointed justices,” according to Sam SidesRepublican governors have now appointed six of the court’s members.”

In explaining the reasoning behind the 24-hour waiting period, Rep. Shannon Lundgren, the bill’s floor manager, said, “24 hours is not an unreasonable amount of time to think about a decision that impacts more than just one life.”

Ingrid Duran, Director of State Legislation for NRLC, told NRL News Today, “A waiting period before an abortion is not only critical to saving the lives of innocent children, it also ensures that women have the opportunity to weigh all of the facts prior to making a life-and-death decision.”

Pro-lifers hope the court goes further than just upholding the 24-hour waiting period. The Iowa Supreme Court threw this out in a 2018 decision, citing the “right” to abortion it had found previously  in the state Constitution and which the court had used to justify overturn a 2017 law requiring a 72-hour waiting period.