The Iowa Supreme Court overturned a 2018 ruling protecting access to abortion under the state constitution, opening the door to more abortion restrictions in the state as the Court U.S. Supreme Court brace for his likely move to roll back federal protections for abortion care.
A decision of the highest court in the state June 17 overturns a lower court decision to block a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion can be performed, arguing that the decision from just four years ago that affirmed a constitutional right to health care Abortion “insufficiently acknowledges that future human lives are at stake”.
The court’s ruling — now made up almost entirely of Republican appointees — means anti-abortion lawmakers no longer have to deal with state constitutional protections for abortion care, which could have remained in place even if the Supreme Court undermined Roe.
Friday’s decision sends a case challenging the waiting period law to a lower court.
Iowa judges argued the court was not bound to follow precedent after a 2018 ruling affirmed that “autonomy and dominance over one’s body goes to the very heart of what it means to be free”.
The only remaining Democratic representative on the court, Justice Brent Appel, wrote in his dissent that “the right to reproductive autonomy should not be eviscerated by narrow textualism.”
The state’s Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds said Friday’s decision marked a “significant victory in our fight to protect the unborn child.”
The court’s reversal reflects the country’s reshaped conservative court system as Republican officials pursue legal challenges to defend their anti-abortion laws under Roe vs. Wadewhile GOP lawmakers introduce a wave of restrictive laws to dramatically reduce access to abortion and criminalize providers.
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue its decision in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case involving a Mississippi law that prohibits abortion at 15 weeks gestation. A draft notice disclosed in this case indicates that the court will overturn the 1973 decision by Roe vs. Wade and its confirmatory decision in 1992 Planned Parenthood versus Casey.
Without 50 years deer protections, about half of U.S. states could immediately or quickly ban abortion, including 13 states with so-called “trigger” bans in place — laws designed to go into effect without Roe.
Iowa once banned abortion at six weeks gestation, before many patients knew they were pregnant, but the law was ruled unconstitutional.