Iowa court: Abortion not protected by state constitution

Legal Business

The Iowa Supreme Court on Friday cleared the way for lawmakers to severely limit or ban abortion in the state, reversing a decision by the court just four years ago that guaranteed the right to abortion under the Iowa Constitution.

The court, now composed almost entirely of Republican appointees, concluded that a less conservative court wrongly decided abortion is among the fundamental privacy rights guaranteed by the Iowa Constitution and federal law.

Friday’s ruling comes amid expectations that the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide. If that happens, Iowa lawmakers could ban abortion without completing the lengthy process of amending the state constitution.

The Iowa decision stemmed from a lawsuit filed by abortion providers who challenged a 2020 law that required a 24-hour waiting period before a woman can get an abortion. A judge who struck down the law cited the state high court’s 2018 ruling. The judge also concluded that the law violated rules prohibiting passage of bills with more than one subject.

The state Supreme Court returned the waiting-period case to district court.

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