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Newscast 07.12.23: Gov. Reynolds set to sign abortion ban Friday; The ACLU of Iowa and abortion providers file a lawsuit to block enforcement

Iowa abortion providers filed a lawsuit Wednesday to block enforcement of an upcoming ban on abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy. Republican lawmakers passed the bill Tuesday night. Governor Kim Reynolds will sign the ban into law Friday afternoon, and it would take effect immediately.

Rita Bettis Austen is the ACLU of Iowa’s legal director. She says the bill purports to have exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother, but those have limits that’ll cause problems for patients.

 “We’re seeking to block this ban because we know that every day that the law is in effect, Iowans will face life threatening barriers to getting desperately needed medical care, just as we’ve seen in other states with similar bans.”

A Polk County District Court judge has scheduled a hearing for Friday afternoon. Even if the judge blocks the ban, it could take effect for a few hours or days before the ruling is issued.

Planned Parenthood officials didn’t say how they’ll handle patients who are scheduled for abortions in Iowa Friday afternoon and next week. They say they’re preparing for all possibilities.

Iowa Democrats were unable to alter Republicans’ plan to pass new abortion restrictions in yesterday’s special legislative session. But the minority leader in the House Jennifer Konfrst says Democrats will make the issue a prime focus as they try to win back seats in 2024.

Charese Yanney, of Sioux City, has been elected chairwoman of the Iowa Transportation Commission.
The commission elected Yanney at its meeting yesterday.
Then-Gov. Terry Branstad first appointed Yanney to the commission in 2011 to complete the term of Debi Durham, who became the state's economic development director.
Yanney will complete her third, four-year term next June. She previously served as chairwoman during her third year on the commission.

A community project that will temporarily cover the Sioux City Art Center with a collage of fabric is about to get underway.

Drawing of expected look of art center project
Drawing of expected look of art center project

New York-based artist Amanda Browder will spearhead the major installation that will ramp up during Artsplash in September, and it will be revealed at Artsplash in 2024.

Browder’s project will involve gathering the fabric, then having community sewing days to create the massive cloth art installation that will cover the art center.

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