A judge in Iowa this week ruled that the state’s law requiring a 24-hour waiting period before getting an abortion violates the state constitution because it was passed as an amendment to an unrelated bill.
Judge Mitchell E. Turner noted in his ruling on Monday that the measure, Amendment H-8314, was added to a bill that concerned withdrawing life-saving procedures from minors, according to The Hill. The amendment stated that women who want an abortion would have to undergo an ultrasound, receive government-mandated information, and wait at least 24 hours before they can get the procedure performed.
The state legislature passed the bill with the measure last year, which prompted a lawsuit from Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union, but Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the bill into law last June.
“Upon review of both the Iowa Senate and House videos, it is abundantly clear to this Court that what occurred in the Iowa Legislature on June 13th and 14th, 2020 was exactly such ‘tricks in legislation’ and ‘mischiefs’ that the single-subject rule exists to prevent,” Turner wrote in his decision.
He also noted that a 2018 Iowa Supreme Court ruling established that women have a fundamental right to receive an abortion according to the state constitution.
"Given this clear precedent, this Court finds that Petitioners have established that a twenty-four hour waiting requirement is an invasion or threatened invasion 'upon the fundamental rights of the people.’”
The Des Moines Register reports that most abortions in Iowa are banned after about 20 weeks of pregnancy.
"Once again, the court righted a legislative overreach related to abortion care, and the court’s decision means access to safe and legal abortion in Iowa remains unchanged," Jamie Burch Elliott, the director of public affairs for Planned Parenthood North Central States, told the Register.
"There’s a process that we go through when we pass a bill into law so that everyone who has a right to take part in that democratic process, which includes us, can do so and contact our representatives," added ACLU of Iowa Legal Director Rita Bettis Austen.
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