Branstad signs 20-week abortion ban, voter ID bill

Governor Terry Branstad

Governor Terry Branstad

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Planned Parenthood, a group that provides family planning services, including abortions, challenged the waiting-period portion of the law in district court on Thursday, seeking an injunction, but a judge ruled against them. "The pro-life movement is making significant strides in changing the hearts and minds of Iowans to return to a culture that once again respects human life".

The abortion bill that Branstad said he'll sign was pushed through the Legislature over the opposition of most Democrats.

Planned Parenthood posted on its Facebook page late Thursday that it will appeal the ruling to the Iowa Supreme Court. "This means women scheduled to have abortion procedures today will be able to receive care as scheduled".

In arguing for the temporary injunction, Planned Parenthood attorney Alice Clapman said 44 women who had appointments at Iowa clinics would be adversely affected by the new law's mandatory three-day waiting period, and one woman already had to delay a two-hour medical procedure Thursday due to uncertainty over the law that would take effect upon the governor's signature. "We are still here for our patients, dozens of whose lives will be immediately impacted once Gov. Branstad signs this into law".

"Victory", Rita Bettis, legal director of the ACLU of Iowa, declared in an email Friday morning after the justices granted the emergency request. The law requires that abortion facilities give women 72 hours between receiving informed consent information and having the abortion.

According to the lawsuit, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland provided over 2,100 medication abortions and over 1,200 surgical abortions in Iowa in the past year.

"The act thus imposes a medically unnecessary mandatory delay", they argued, adding that physicians who violate the mandatory delay and additional trip requirements are subject to discipline.

The judge made the "right decision", in dismissing the injunction, Hammes said. Other states with similar policies are Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Utah.

The law also prohibits abortions after 20 weeks when strong scientific evidence indicates unborn babies can feel pain. "It's a historic day in the state of Iowa and a day we need to celebrate".

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