Iowa Supreme Court rejects Reynolds’ request on abortion case

Iowa Judicial Branch Building
Posted at 8:30 PM, Jul 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-05 21:30:33-04

The Iowa Supreme Court has rejected Gov. Kim Reynolds’ request that it reconsider its recent decision on a law that seeks to impose a 24-hour waiting period for an abortion.

Reynolds, who supports the waiting period, was hoping to have the court reconsider its June 17 decision in light of the more recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade and gave the states far greater latitude in restricting or outlawing abortion.

The governor’s hope was that the Iowa justices would revisit the issue and rule on what legal standard should be applied when deciding the legality of any future restrictions on abortion in Iowa.

In arguing for the Iowa justices to revisit the case, Reynolds had noted that their June 17 decision – written after news had leaked that the U.S. Supreme Court was poised to overturn Roe v. Wade – states that the high court’s written decision, once it was issued and made public, might “provide insights that we are currently lacking.”

With the Iowa Supreme Court’s refusal to re-hear the matter, the justices’ June 17 ruling remains in effect, which means the case is headed back to district court in Johnson County where, in light of the recent higher-court decisions, a ruling is expected that will clear the way for the 24-hour waiting period to take effect.

The waiting period was approved by the Iowa Legislature and the governor in 2020, but never took effect due to legal challenges. Tuesday’s decision, which was made without comment by the court, leaves Reynolds with one other legal avenue to pursue in quickly limiting access to abortion.

Last week, she announced her plans to ask a Polk County judge to lift the injunction that has prevented the state’s “fetal heartbeat law” from taking effect. That law is intended to prohibit abortions within six weeks or when a fetal heartbeat can be detected and was blocked by the courts when Roe v. Wade was still the law of the land.

Iowa Capital Dispatch is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Iowa Capital Dispatch maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Kathie Obradovich for questions: Follow Iowa Capital Dispatch on Facebook and Twitter.

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