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Governor seeks to overturn ruling that upheld abortion rights in Iowa

DES MOINES — Governor Kim Reynolds is asking the Iowa Supreme Court to overturn a 2018 ruling that said Iowa women have a fundamental right to an abortion.

Reynolds, a Republican, issued a written statement today calling the court’s 2018 ruling “one of the most liberal abortion decisions in the country.” In June, a district court judge cited that 2018 Iowa Supreme Court ruling as he struck down a law Reynolds signed in 2020 that would have required a waiting period for abortions. The state is appealing the district court’s ruling.

A legal brief attorneys for the state filed August 24 argues U.S. case law on abortion is based on the federal constitution and the court’s 2018 ruling was “the definition of erratic.” The court ruled that under Iowa’s constitution, women have a right to an abortion in Iowa. The make-up of the court has changed since that 2018 decision, though. Governor Reynolds has appointed four of the seven justices serving on the Iowa Supreme Court today.

Senate Democratic Leader Zach Wahls says it’s time for Iowans “to make their voices heard in opposition to extreme abortion laws,” like a new Texas law banning abortions after the sixth week of a pregnancy. The Texas law gives its citizens the right to sue anyone they think is violating the law.

Earlier this week, the Associated Press reported 60 Republican members of the Iowa legislature have signed onto a brief that asked Iowa’s Supreme Court to overturn its 2018 ruling that upheld abortion rights.


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