Planned Parenthood is reportedly preparing to launch into a legal battle with the state of Iowa as a result of the newly-signed abortion law. On Friday, Governor Kim Reynolds put her signature on the law, which has been widely referred to as “The Heartbeat Bill.” As a result, Iowans are now restricted by the toughest anti-abortion law in the country.
Before Kim Reynolds had even signed the law, Planned Parenthood activists were already gearing up for what will almost certainly be a historic courtroom fight. The organization’s Iowa chapter, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, announced their intention to sue on May 4. According to U.S. News & World Report, the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa will also be part of the pending lawsuit.
Legal plans were further solidified by a tweet from the ACLU of Iowa. The official position of this chapter of the ACLU is that, “[we] will not let this stand and will file a lawsuit to block this clearly unconstitutional law.” Planned Parenthood of the Heartland also posted several tweets in response to Governor Kim Reynolds’s decision to sign the six-week abortion ban into law. They reiterated their commitment to fighting this and began using the hashtags #HealthCareHappensHere and #WeWontGoBack.
The new law doesn’t go into effect until July 1, so there are almost two months for Planned Parenthood and the ACLU to file legal motions. It is highly likely that they would request a temporary stay on the bill to prevent it from being enacted before a court hearing.
Republican lawmakers in Iowa have gone much further than the abortion bill itself. As of May 3, they’re also pushing forward with a bill that will make it much more difficult for Planned Parenthood to help promote sexual education. In fact, if this GOP effort is successful, Planned Parenthood will lose all access to grant funding for this specific topic. Currently, the organization receives approximately $300,000 annually from these contested grants.
The Des Moines Register quoted Erin Davison-Rippey’s response to these efforts. Davison-Rippey is the Public Affairs Director of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.
“Any reasonable person who wants to see fewer abortions should work with Planned Parenthood to promote sex education and family planning.”
Iowa Representative Joel Fry presented a different take on this bill on behalf of the GOP.
“While the conversation and the education is incredibly important, I think there were some members who are concerned about who does that education.”
Per Iowa Public Radio, Republican Iowa Senator Rick Bertrand also spoke out about his belief that this new law is the first push toward overturning Roe v. Wade.
“Today we will begin this journey as Iowa becomes ground zero nationally for the life [AKA anti-abortion] movement and the starting line back to the Supreme Court. I believe this bill will be the vehicle that will ultimately provide change and provide the opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade.”
No matter which side Iowans are on, they can expect a fierce battle over the enforcement of this law. Governor Kim Reynolds even acknowledged this before signing the restrictive abortion bill, but it remains to be seen if Iowa Republicans will be able to jettison this all the way to the Supreme Court as planned.