Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller (D) says he will not defend the state's six-week abortion ban, considered the most restrictive in the nation, claiming the new law goes against his beliefs.
In a letter to the state legislature Tuesday, Miller's office announced that he will not represent the state in challenges to the law from pro-abortion rights groups.
"The disqualification is based on the Attorney General's determination that 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," the letter says.
Planned Parenthood, the country's largest abortion provider, and the American Civil Liberties Union said Tuesday they will sue the state over the "heartbeat" law, which would effectively ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.
The groups claim that the law is a direct violation of the Supreme Court's decision upholding abortion rights in Roe v. Wade. Proponents of the bill in Iowa's legislature have sought to use the bill spark a legal challenge to the 1973 ruling.
“We commend Attorney General Tom Miller for standing up for a woman’s right to control her own body, and decide for herself whether and when to become a parent. Not only is this ban blatantly unconstitutional, it’s also extremely harmful to women," said Dawn Laguens, Planned Parenthood's executive vice president in a statement.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) said after signing the bill on Saturday that the "work is not done" when it comes to restricting abortions in the state.
"I believe all innocent life is precious and sacred, and as governor I pledge to you to do everything in my power to protect life," Reynolds said.
The law is set to go into effect on July 1.