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Iowa Supreme Court Rules Abortion is NOT Protected by State Constitution

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“The Iowa Supreme Court has reversed a 2018 court ruling that established strong legal protections for abortion under the state constitution,” Iowa Public Radio reported.

In the ruling issued Friday, the majority opinion of the court found that the ruling lacks textual and historical support and “insufficiently recognizes that future human lives are at stake.”

“Constitutions — and courts — should not be picking sides in divisive social and political debates unless some universal principle of justice stands on only one side of that debate. Abortion isn’t one of those issues,” read the opinion penned by Supreme Court Justice Edward Mansfield.

Iowa Public Radio noted:

The state’s highest court also reversed a lower court’s decision overturning a 2020 law that requires a 24-hour waiting period for those seeking an abortion. It sent the case back to a lower court to reevaluate.

This significant decision in Iowa comes as the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on a case this month that could overturn constitutional protections for abortion at the federal level.

If the nation’s highest court overturns Roe v. Wade, as it appears poised to do, according to a leaked draft of an early opinion published by Politico, it will be significantly easier for Iowa’s Republican-led legislature to pass legislation further restricting – even banning – abortion in the state.

Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) called the ruling “a significant victory in our fight to protect the unborn.”

“The Iowa Supreme Court reversed its earlier 2018 decision, which made Iowa the most abortion-friendly state in the country,” she said.

“Every life is sacred and should be protected, and as long as I’m governor that is exactly what I will do.”

The Des Moines Register added:

The composition of the Supreme Court has shifted since the 2018 decision, with Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, appointing four of the seven justices.

While rejecting the finding of a state constitutional guarantee of the right to abortion, Friday’s decision did not say what the new standard should be.

“Although we overrule (the 2018 decision), and thus reject the proposition that there is a fundamental right to an abortion in Iowa’s Constitution subjecting abortion regulation to strict scrutiny, we do not at this time decide what constitutional standard should replace it,”  Justice Edward Mansfield wrote in the majority opinion.

 

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