WEATHER AUTHORITY : Heat Advisory View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Judge agrees to temporarily block Iowa's abortion ban

An Iowa judge agreed Friday to temporarily block the most restrictive abortion law in the country under an agreement ...

Posted: Jun 2, 2018 9:18 AM
Updated: Jun 2, 2018 9:18 AM

An Iowa judge agreed Friday to temporarily block the most restrictive abortion law in the country under an agreement between the state and abortion rights groups.

Attorneys for the state and Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds told the judge they agreed to prevent the law from taking effect on July 1 after discussions with three groups challenging the law: the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, Planned Parenthood Federation of American and the Emma Goldman Clinic.

The groups are suing the state, arguing that the law - which bans most abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected - is unconstitutional. An attorney representing the state said Friday that the goal now is to quickly get the case before a judge "for the sake of getting to a resolution on the merits sooner and better."

"This is a much better outcome for women than having to spend the next few weeks worrying about whether or not they're going to be able to exercise their fundamental right to have a safe and legal abortion in Iowa," said Rita Bettis, ACLU of Iowa attorney.

Judge Michael Huppert said he would formally issue a temporary injunction later Friday. The injunction means the law won't go into effect until the lawsuit is resolved, which could take months. Both sides have said they want the case to go to the Iowa Supreme Court - though anti-abortion rights groups are aiming for the U.S. Supreme Court.

The state is being represented for free by the Thomas More Society, a conservative Chicago-based law firm that stepped in after Democratic Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller refused to defend the law. Miller said he believed the law undermines the rights and protections for women.

Reynolds signed the law May 2, two days after lawmakers approved the legislation. The moves marked a dramatic change in abortion policy in Iowa, which before the 2016 elections had little to no role in the broad Republican effort to overturn Roe v. Wade. The landmark 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that established a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy until a fetus is viable.

The 2016 election flipped control of the Iowa Senate, putting Republicans in charge of the Legislature and the governor's office for the first time in two decades. Among the results: numerous anti-abortion bills, including a 20-week abortion ban and a requirement that women wait three days before ending a pregnancy.

The waiting provision - one of the longest in the country - also is on hold because of a different lawsuit. Iowa Republicans also gave up millions in federal dollars last year to create a state-funded family planning program that prohibits participation from abortion providers, such as Planned Parenthood.

If the fetal heartbeat law is eventually allowed to take effect in Iowa, most abortions would be banned after around the sixth week of pregnancy - a time when, abortion-rights groups say, many women don't even know they're pregnant.

Planned Parenthood and the Emma Goldman Clinic, which is in Iowa City, said they provided nearly 3,000 abortions last year. They argue the law is an all-out ban on abortion, in violation of women's constitutional rights.

"From our side, there aren't really any questions that at six-week gestation an embryo is not viable, so it is hard to imagine how this (court fight) could take a very long time," Bettis said. "But we will wait and see what their answer says ultimately then we'll have a better idea."

Martin Cannon, a lawyer with Thomas More Society, noted that the latest lawsuit was filed in state court, meaning getting the case into the federal court system is difficult. But, he said, "there is plenty to argue about right here in Iowa in front of this supreme court."

Bob Vander Plaats, CEO of the conservative Christian group Family Leader, said he and other anti-abortion activists aren't deterred.

"This is going to be the long game," he said. "I do believe that this will be the vehicle that will end abortion in this country."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 68293

Reported Deaths: 1944
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5656118
DeSoto368031
Harrison253036
Madison244368
Rankin229235
Jackson228843
Jones191659
Forrest182056
Washington168942
Lee147941
Lauderdale141192
Neshoba128692
Lamar122614
Oktibbeha112739
Bolivar111834
Warren109533
Lowndes108538
Panola106214
Sunflower105425
Scott100320
Lafayette98317
Copiah95728
Leflore94765
Pike93836
Holmes90049
Grenada84921
Yazoo83312
Lincoln83241
Pontotoc8308
Simpson80330
Monroe80155
Leake79025
Wayne77421
Coahoma77213
Tate73629
Marshall7019
Marion68420
Union64316
Adams62925
Winston62316
Covington62113
George5895
Pearl River55439
Newton54311
Tallahatchie53011
Attala52325
Walthall50120
Chickasaw47019
Noxubee45912
Alcorn4345
Tishomingo4216
Calhoun4209
Prentiss41710
Claiborne40913
Smith40613
Clay39714
Hancock39514
Jasper3889
Itawamba37510
Tippah36713
Tunica3517
Clarke32626
Montgomery3265
Lawrence3228
Yalobusha31510
Humphreys29411
Quitman2701
Carroll26111
Greene25512
Perry2437
Amite2356
Webster23512
Kemper23414
Jefferson Davis2336
Wilkinson21113
Stone2055
Sharkey1995
Jefferson1957
Benton1431
Choctaw1354
Franklin1312
Issaquena262
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 99926

Reported Deaths: 1781
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson13258244
Mobile10517207
Montgomery6835149
Madison544734
Tuscaloosa423076
Baldwin365125
Unassigned363064
Shelby330936
Marshall318937
Lee270047
Morgan241118
Etowah216232
DeKalb183013
Calhoun180717
Elmore173138
Walker153964
Houston141912
Russell13872
St. Clair135418
Limestone134913
Dallas133123
Franklin128820
Cullman122712
Colbert120716
Lauderdale118919
Autauga117421
Escambia108717
Talladega104814
Jackson10144
Tallapoosa86579
Chambers84438
Dale83525
Clarke82610
Blount8124
Chilton8097
Butler76736
Coffee7646
Covington73720
Pike7087
Marion58026
Barbour5765
Lowndes57324
Marengo56515
Hale47826
Bullock46611
Winston45711
Perry4454
Washington44312
Bibb4425
Wilcox43210
Monroe4215
Pickens4049
Randolph40310
Conecuh39310
Sumter36418
Lawrence3512
Macon33914
Crenshaw3265
Choctaw28712
Cherokee2758
Henry2643
Clay2635
Geneva2631
Greene25211
Lamar2292
Fayette2125
Cleburne1271
Coosa1033
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Few Clouds
93° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 74°
Feels Like: 101°
Columbus
Clear
93° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 107°
Oxford
Clear
95° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 101°
Starkville
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 94°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather