Judge Pauses Iowa Abortion Rule

Judge Pauses Iowa Abortion Rule

(TheConservativeTimes.org) – An Iowa Judge has temporarily blocked a new law the state passed restricting abortion, citing the need for the State Supreme Court to rule on the bill. Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the law which prohibited most abortions after six weeks; however, with the block, that is now back up to the twenty-week mark of pregnancy.

The heartbeat bill uses the cardiac activity within a baby to determine whether or not it can be aborted, and such cardiac activity is typically detected at around the sixth week of pregnancy. In a statement, Reynolds said, “The abortion industry’s attempt to thwart the will of Iowans and the voices of their elected representatives continues today.”

While having exceptions for rape, incest, fetal abnormality, or threat to the mother’s life, the law faces challenges over the “undue burden” test. The undue burden standard was established in Planned Parenthood v. Casey and arises in instances where there is a “substantial” obstacle to someone seeking an abortion of a non-viable fetus. The standard is meant to balance the mother’s interests with those of the baby, and the concept of “undue burden” shows up in other areas of law, including tax law.

Pro-choice advocates believe that the Iowa law violates the undue burden standard, but lawyers for the state of Iowa argue that rational basis review, a lower level of scrutiny, will likely allow for the law to be upheld.

The Iowa ruling comes in the aftermath of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case. The Supreme Court overturned both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. After that ruling, the US states have the sole right to regulate abortion within their boundaries.

Associate Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion explained that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion. This ruling gave state legislatures the authority to further regulate abortion, which has led to pro-life legislation and litigation throughout the United States.

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