Jun 28, 2022 - Politics

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds seeks 6-week abortion ban

Kim reynolds

Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks during a press conference at the Oran Pape State Office Building on June 14 in Des Moines. Photo by: Meg McLaughlin/The Register/USA Today Network

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Tuesday she's seeking court action that could result in the state banning most abortions at six weeks.

  • That would give the state one of the most restrictive bans in the U.S.

Driving the news: Reynolds announced in a news release she's requesting Iowa courts lift an injunction blocking the enforcement of the state's fetal heartbeat law.

  • The law does allow for abortions in the case of rape and incest — if they are reported to law enforcement — or to save the mother's life.

Flashback: Reynolds signed the heartbeat bill in 2018, but it was immediately challenged by the ACLU of Iowa and Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.

  • A Polk County judge ruled in 2019 that the law couldn't be enforced because it violated the state constitution.

Yes, but: Earlier this month, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled the state's Constitution doesn't protect the right to an abortion — giving more leeway for anti-abortion lawmakers to pass restrictions.

What they're saying: "The Supreme Court's historic decision reaffirms that states have the right to protect the innocent and defenseless unborn — and now it's time for our state to do just that," Reynolds said in a statement. "As governor, I will do whatever it takes to defend the most important freedom there is: the right to life."

The other side: Senate Minority Leader Zach Wahls tweeted that he believes state Republicans "will not stop" until abortions are entirely banned.

  • "This is an incredibly dangerous action that threatens the health, safety, and future of Iowa women," he said.

Of note: Reynolds also announced that she is asking the courts to rehear a case the Iowa Supreme Court just ruled on regarding a 2020 law that requires a 24-hour waiting period for abortions.

Between the lines: In her statement on Tuesday, Reynolds said SCOTUS' actions on Roe V. Wade and the ruling from the Iowa Supreme Court have lended themselves to these motions.


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