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AG asks Iowa Supreme Court to set aside injunction and allow Heartbeat Law to take effect

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In a 64-page brief filed yesterday, Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird requested that the state Supreme Court uphold Iowa’s Heartbeat law, which has been subject to an injunction since July. This was three days after Governor Kim Reynolds, a pro-life advocate, signed the law into effect.

In a statement released today, Governor Reynolds asserted that the people of Iowa and their elected representatives have made their position on the Fetal Heartbeat Law abundantly clear, with a larger margin of support than previously observed. She further stated that it is now imperative to uphold the law in its entirety. The temporary restraining order placed on Iowa’s Fetal Heartbeat Law has already resulted in the tragic loss of innocent lives. It is imperative that this situation be brought to a conclusion. Every life is of intrinsic value and deserves the protection of the state, regardless of the stage of life in which it is found. The legislation in question prohibits abortions once the fetal heartbeat can be detected, which occurs approximately six weeks into the pregnancy.

In a statement, Attorney General Bird asserted that every moment is crucial in safeguarding the unborn and that the administration is working assiduously to ensure the enforcement of the Heartbeat Law. “I am confident that the law is on our side and that we will continue to fight to defend the right to life in court.”

In her concise statement, Bird wrote:

This decision was wrong. The State of Iowa has a vital interest in protecting unborn human life at all stages of development. The injunction barring enforcement of Iowa’s fetal heartbeat law undermines that interest, ignores recent developments in state and federal law, and misapplies this Court’s recent abortion precedent.

Robin Opshal of the Iowa Capital Dispatch has written that the Republican attorney general is arguing in a brief that the challenge by Planned Parenthood North Central States, the Emma Goldman Clinic and the ACLU of Iowa should be rejected, as it relies on the legal test rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 2022 Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision. Furthermore, Bird posits that abortion providers are precluded from initiating legal action, given that there is no constitutional right to provide abortions. This assertion is corroborated by a news release.


In a June decision, the state Supreme Court

leave in place an injunction on a nearly identical law passed in 2018. Reynolds had asked the court to lift the injunction. Writing for the majority, Judge Thomas D. Waterman said the 2018 abortion law was passed by lawmakers at a time when its restrictions were unconstitutional under state and federal precedent. However, he wrote, the law could be upheld if passed again now that the U.S. and state supreme courts have ruled that there is no constitutional right to an abortion.

Within weeks of the ruling, Reynolds called the Iowa legislature into a one-day special session to re-pass the six-week abortion ban. She signed the bill on 14 July.

The new law was immediately challenged, and a Polk County District Judge issued an injunction against the law three days after Reynolds signed it.


Daniel Miller is responsible for nearly all of National Right to Life News' political writing.

With the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, Daniel Miller developed a deep obsession with U.S. politics that has never let go of the political scientist. Whether it's the election of Joe Biden, the midterm elections in Congress, the abortion rights debate in the Supreme Court or the mudslinging in the primaries - Daniel Miller is happy to stay up late for you.

Daniel was born and raised in New York. After living in China, working for a news agency and another stint at a major news network, he now lives in Arizona with his two daughters.

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