Iowa Supreme Court strikes down abortion waiting period
by Daniel James Devine
Posted 6/29/18, 12:22 pm
The Supreme Court of Iowa on Friday struck down a state law that required women to wait 72 hours before undergoing an abortion procedure, overturning a lower court decision. The high court ruled 5-2 that the law violated the Iowa Constitution because the law’s “restrictions on women are not narrowly tailored to serve a compelling interest of the state.” The 72-hour waiting period was part of pro-life legislation that also protected most unborn children from abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, a rule still in effect. Iowa’s recently passed “heartbeat” law, which protects unborn babies from abortion once their heartbeats can be detected, at around 6 weeks, is currently on hold while a legal challenge moves through the courts.
Justice Edward Mansfield, who is on President Donald Trump’s 2017 list of potential U.S. Supreme Court nominees, wrote the dissenting opinion in Friday’s ruling. “Waiting periods are not uncommon in Iowa law,” he noted. “We have a three-day waiting period for marriage. … So why can’t the legislature impose a waiting period before an abortion?”
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