Judge temporarily blocks Iowa's six-week abortion ban

Judge temporarily blocks Iowa's six-week abortion ban
© Getty Images

A judge in Iowa temporarily blocked the nation's most restrictive abortion law from taking effect until a lawsuit challenging it is resolved. 

The law was slated to take effect July 1, but lawyers representing the state agreed to a temporary injunction, saying the next step is to quickly get the case before a judge so the state can argue the law is constitutional. 

Signed by Iowa's Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds last month, the law would ban abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, which can happen around six weeks of pregnancy. 

ADVERTISEMENT
Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union's Iowa branch filed suit against the state in May, arguing that such a ban is unconstitutional. Most women don't even know they're pregnant that soon, abortion rights groups argue. 

The law has attracted national attention, and anti-abortion groups are hoping the law will trigger a challenge to Roe v. Wade at the Supreme Court. 

Iowa is being represented by the Thomas More Society, a conservative law firm in Chicago, because state Attorney General Tom Miller (D) claimed his personal beliefs prevented him from defending it in court. 

In a letter to the state legislature last month, Miller's office said he could not "zealously assert the state's position because of his core belief that the statute, if upheld, would undermine rights and protections for women."