Iowa Supreme Court blocks new abortion restriction

Iowa Supreme Court blocks new abortion restriction
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The Iowa Supreme Court has blocked a new state law requiring a 72-hour waiting period for women seeking an abortion.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Iowa said the court issued a temporary order blocking the waiting period and a "medically unnecessary appointment" in which the mother has to have an ultrasound that shows the approximate age of the fetus.

The ACLU affiliate brought the lawsuit challenging the law with Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.

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The legislation Gov. Terry Branstad (R) signed into law Friday bans most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. That provision was not a focus of the request for an injunction, The Des Moines Register reported.

“This ruling means that dozens of women today are able to access the care they need,” Suzanna de Baca, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland's CEO, said in a statement.

“In the two hours we saw patients between the governor signing this legislation into law and when the temporary injunction was ordered, havoc was wreaked on many patients’ lives. One woman had driven seven hours to her appointment, only to be told she couldn’t have the procedure today; others were angry and upset at the intrusion into their lives.”

Baca said she’s hopeful the court will ultimately agree that the safe, legal abortion is a protected right guaranteed by the Iowa Constitution.