June 18, 2022 - 7:34 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — Representatives from the ACLU of Iowa and Planned Parenthood talked with reporters Friday in reaction to the Supreme Court decision on abortion.

ACLU of Iowa legal director Rita Bettis Austen says the ruling that abortion is not a fundamental right under Iowa’s constitution is a devastating reversal of prior precedent.

The ruling on the constitutional question came as the Supreme Court reviewed a lower court decision that said the 24-hour waiting period for abortion that was passed in 2020 was not legal. Austen says the ruling does impact abortion law review.

Bettis Austen says the lower standard of scrutiny known as the Undue Burden still holds.

She says that is the level of protection that is in place at the FEDERAL. Bettis Austen and a representative from Planned Parenthood cited an Iowa Poll that showed a majority of Iowans supported keeping abortion legal. Iowa Republicans who have pushed to end abortion in the state have control of both Houses of the Iowa Legislature and the governor’s office. Those on the conference call could not say why Republicans have such control if a majority of Iowans support abortion, according to ACLU of Iowa Communications Director Veronica Fowler.

Bettis Austen says the next step in this case is for them to go back to the district court and continue the challenge that the 24-hour waiting period for an abortion is an undue burden.

Pro-life advocates welcomed the Supreme Court ruling on abortion. Kristie McGregor has spent every Wednesday outside the Sioux City Planned Parenthood clinic for the last two years praying. She says since her miscarriage in 2017, she’s devoted herself completely to fighting for a ban on abortion. McGregor says she’s happy with today’s ruling – but she’s not celebrating yet. She says that won’t come until abortion is outlawed completely.

She sees the court’s reversal as a step in the right direction. But until abortions in Iowa are banned, McGregor says she’ll keep showing up every Wednesday to pray.

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