Iowa abortion waiting period, Judge considers temporary block.
A judge in Iowa City is now deliberating a temporary injunction blocking a new law which would impose a 24-hour waiting period on all abortions in Iowa. The law, was signed by Governor Reynolds, according to attorneys for the state, while the hearing was taking place.
Planned Parenthood is challenging the law on the same grounds they successfully lobbied the Iowa Supreme Court to throw out a 72-hour waiting period two years ago, that the wait imposes undue burdens on both patients and providers. Right now, a woman can only seek an abortion in two locations, one in Iowa City and one in Des Moines.
Planned Parenthood also claims the State Legislature wrongly passed the amendment, tacking it onto an unrelated bill in the middle of the night on a weekend, without any public debate or discussion.
The State argued that the Legislature has that right, and voters can hold their representatives to account in November. But the judge appeared to disagree with that argument, noting that all other abortion restriction discussed this year went through committees and failed to pass.
The judge also made note that it takes weeks to get an abortion appointment, and also after education and medical screenings, pointing out turning one appointment into two is hard for providers to do who cannot schedule so many patients.
The court also cited Monday morning’s U.S. Supreme Court decision that blocked an abortion law in Louisiana. Although different, the judge believes the federal ruling confirms third-parties like Planned Parenthood have the right to argue cases in court on behalf of their patients and the services they provide.
The judge appeared to criticize many of the state’s arguments, most notably saying that an injunction would merely continue the “status quo” as it stands today for the right to an abortion in Iowa until this case can be resolved.
After a hearing which lasted about an hour, the judge said he would review today’s ruling at the U.S. Supreme Court and did not indicate which way he would rule, but that would likey come tomorrow, because the law will take effect Wednesday.