Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Monday she will not appeal the Iowa District Court ruling on the fetal heartbeat law.
Judge Michael Huppert had ruled the law, Iowa Code chapter 146c, violated the Iowa constitution. The law that would ban abortions once a heartbeat is detected in the fetus was ruled as “violative of both the due process and equal protection provisions of the Iowa Constitution,” according to the court’s filings.
Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa challenged the law on state constitutional grounds only foreclosing an appeal to the federal courts.
“This was an extremely difficult decision, however it is the right one for the pro-life movement and the state of Iowa," Reynolds said Monday in a statement. "When I signed the Fetal Heartbeat bill last May, we knew that it would be an uphill fight in the courts that might take us all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court."
When the Iowa Supreme Court struck down a 72-hour waiting period for abortion, saying the Iowa constitution provided a right to abortion, Reynolds said she saw "no path to successfully appeal the district court's decision or to get this lawsuit before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Reynolds added, "I think the Iowa Supreme Court got it wrong."
Reynolds called for anti-abortion advocates to "renew our focus on changing hearts and minds and seek other ways to advance the cause of protecting the unborn."
ACLU of Iowa Executive Director Mark Stringer responded to the announcement, "We’re glad that politicians are recognizing what we have known all along — that the Iowa constitution has strong protections for women’s rights, including abortion access, and that attempts to seriously erode those rights will be struck down. We’re proud of a constitution that affirms a women’s fundamental right, in consultation with her doctor and loved ones, to make one of the most difficult, personal decisions she’ll ever make. Government has no place in that.
Moving forward, we’ll continue to fight efforts to amend the Iowa Constitution to ban abortion. Some people want to drag us back to a time when women died out of desperation to control their lives and their bodies. We won’t go back, and we’re glad that politicians have not been successful in implementing what would have been the most extreme ban on abortions in the country, especially considering the fact that a 6-week abortion ban law did not have the support of the majority of Iowans.”
With Associated Press reports.