Judge Temporarily Blocks 24-Hour Waiting Period for Abortions

Jun 30, 2020

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds

504 063020

An Iowa judge has temporarily blocked the enforcement of a new abortion law.  The law requires women to wait 24 hours before having an abortion while a legal challenge is argued in the courts.

Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the law yesterday. The law was set to take effect tomorrow, but Judge Mitchell Turner issued a temporary injunction preventing it from taking effect until a lawsuit is resolved.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland sued the governor, The Iowa Board of Medicine and the state of Iowa last week.  The groups are  asking to first temporarily block the law's implementation while the lawsuit is resolved, and also to strike down the waiting period requirement as unconstitutional, based on equal protection and due process grounds.

The law says a woman cannot have an abortion for at least 24 hours after an initial appointment.

The Republican-controlled Iowa Legislature passed the law in an overnight session earlier this month shortly before adjourning for the year.

A Planned Parenthood lawyer argued at the Tuesday hearing that the law would immediately have harmful effects if enacted, pointing to over 100 abortions that have already been scheduled on or after Wednesday.

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have added Iowa to a list of states covered by an advisory that requires travelers to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his counterparts New Jersey and Connecticut, announced a travel advisory last week that requires individuals from states with “increased prevalence of COVID-19” to quarantine.

The advisory applies to states with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or a test positivity rate higher than 10%.

Cuomo’s office announced today that Iowa now meet the metrics under the travel advisory. Also covered under Tuesday's announcement are California, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada and Tennessee.