Iowa Court extends abortion law injunction

Maggie Curry

After Gov. Branstad signed Senate File 471, an Act relating to limitations on and prerequisites for an abortion, on May 5, the Iowa Supreme Court issued an emergency order against enforcing the law.

The temporary injunction, made at the request of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, was extended Tuesday by Mark S. Cady, Chief Justice. The injunction blocks a provision of the law that mandates a three-day waiting period between two appointments before having an abortion.

Enforcement of the law was halted beginning May 5 until the State had an opportunity to respond to the application and motion and the matter could be fully considered by the court.

Because the promotional material the law requires be provided to pregnant women at their first abortion appointment is not available, the law can not be enforced and the 72 hour wait time should not have gone into affect the day the law was signed.

The order says:

“The State has failed to rebut the assertion by the petitioners that the materials that serve as the foundation information required to be provided to women seeking an abortion have not yet been developed by the Department of Public Health pursuant to the law.

The court declines to review the matter on appeal for this reason and because the parties have not had a full and fair opportunity to develop a complete record in the district court and to develop all underlying arguments. Finally, the brevity of a continued temporary injunction serves to balance the interests involved.”

Now, the case goes to district courts and has 30 days to be settled. The injunction put in place by the Supreme Court will continue ten days past the district court’s decision.