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Court orders temporary injunction against 24-hour abortion wait

Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 4:33 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - A district court judge in Iowa has granted a temporary injunction against the implementation of a controversial wait period before a woman can receive an abortion.

The order from Judge Mitchell Turner, filed in Johnson County District Court on Tuesday afternoon, prohibits the state from enforcing the newly amended provision, requiring that a woman wait 24 hours before being able to get an abortion in the state.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and a doctor represented by Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa filed the suit to block the law. The judge determined that those groups had the standing to file the suit, established a likelihood of success that their legal theory could prevail, and that there would be “substantial injury” to their patients due to the time-sensitive nature of abortion procedures if an injunction was not granted.

The groups are arguing that the bill was passed in violation of the single-subject rule, where the abortion portion was added to a bill about whether a court may require the withdrawal of life-sustaining procedures from a minor child over the objection of their parent or guardian. The groups also cite the precedent of a 2018 Iowa Supreme Court ruling striking down a similar, but longer, 72-hour waiting period for abortion access.

Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the bill, HF594, into law on Monday.

The case will proceed but the law will not go into effect as scheduled on Wednesday, July 1.

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