NewsNational NewsScripps News

Actions

Iowa Supreme Court hears arguments on 6-week abortion ban

The state Supreme Court's hearing was to determine whether enforcement should be allowed while the larger legal battle over the law continues.
Iowa Supreme Court hears arguments on 6-week abortion ban
Posted at 8:06 PM, Apr 11, 2024

The abortion law up for debate in Iowa bans most abortions after a heartbeat can be detected, usually at about six weeks, before most women know they are pregnant. There are exceptions for rape, incest, saving the life of the mother and life-threatening fetal abnormalities. 

Gov. Kim Reynolds signed it into law last July, and abortion rights advocates immediately filed suit. This week, Iowa lawmakers approved the rules to enforce the ban, to take effect April 24.

The state Supreme Court's hearing Thursday was to determine whether enforcement should be allowed while the larger legal battle over the law continues. Peter Im, the staff attorney for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America said, "It is emphatically this court's role and duty to say ... how the Iowa constitution protects individual rights, how it protects bodily autonomy and how it protects Iowans' rights to exercise dominion over their own bodies." 

Iowa's Solicitor General Eric Wessen argued, "They're seeking a carve out to treat abortion rights differently than other rights."

For now, abortion is legal in Iowa up to 20 weeks of pregnancy. The court is expected to issue a ruling in the coming weeks.

Iowa's abortion battle comes as shouting erupted in Arizona's state house Wednesday after Republican leaders shut down discussion on repealing that state's 1864 law criminalizing abortion. Arizona's Supreme Court cleared the way Tuesday for that law to be enforced. 

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs said the state's voters will be able to vote on a ballot measure this November that would enshrine the right to abortion in the state constitution.

SEE MORE: Tensions rise as Arizona lawmakers debate abortion ban


Trending stories at Scrippsnews.com