An Iowa state judge ruled that the court had no authority to terminate a permanent injunction on a six-week abortion ban.
In 2018, Governor Kim Reynolds (R) passed the legislation that is currently being debated. The law prohibits abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which typically occurs six weeks into a pregnancy, a time many women may not even know they’re pregnant.
The law makes an exception for incest, rape, medical emergencies, and fetal abnormalities, in addition to when it is deemed medically necessary to have an abortion.
In 2019, the Iowa Supreme Court issued a permanent injunction on the law after they ruled it violated the state’s Constitution and federal precedent.
In August, following the Supreme Court’s order overturning Roe v Wade and Iowa’s Supreme Court overturning its earlier ruling that abortion wasn’t protected by the state’s Constitution, the state government attempted to dissolve the injunction.
Judge Celene Gogerty found that she didn’t have the authority to dissolve the ruling. She also explained in her order that even if the state law allowed her to terminate the injunction, the state hadn’t successfully argued how the Iowa Supreme Court ruling had substantially changed abortion law.
Gogerty explained in her ruling that although the state Supreme Court found a fundamental right to abortion didn’t exist in the state law, it hadn’t clarified what standard would replace it.
Instead, Gogerty said the standard established by Planned Parenthood vs. Casey would govern the state’s take on abortion.