Iowa Supreme Court agrees to hear appeal on GOP’s blocked abortion ban


DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to hear Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds’ appeal of a lower court order blocking the state’s ban on abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, which Reynolds signed into law earlier this month. 

Republican legislators passed the bill earlier this month in a special legislative session, and Reynolds signed it at the Family Leadership Summit, a major gathering of social conservatives that drew top GOP presidential candidates to Iowa. 

“Everyone understands that a heartbeat signifies life and we understand that when it falls silent, something precious has been lost,” Reynolds said moments before signing the bill into law. 

The six-week ban went into effect as soon as the governor signed it, but was halted days later, when a Polk County judge temporarily blocked the law following a legal challenge from Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, the Emma Goldman Clinic, and the ACLU of Iowa. For now, abortion remains legal in Iowa until the 20th week of pregnancy. 

The new law is similar to an earlier six-week ban that Reynolds signed into law in 2018. But that ban, which went into effect after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade in 2022, was permanently blocked after a split decision from the state Supreme Court in June, which prompted Reynolds and Iowa Republicans to try again to enact a stricter ban on abortion.

“We remain committed to protecting the right of all Iowans to access abortion care and are prepared to fight for that right before the Iowa Supreme Court,” said Ruth Richardson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States, in a statement.

Reynolds offered her own response when the new law was temporarily blocked, saying, “I will never stop fighting to protect our unborn children and to uphold state laws enacted by our elected legislators.”

The law bans most abortions at around six weeks, before many women know they’re pregnant, with exceptions for fetal abnormalities, the life of the mother, miscarriages, rape, and incest. 

“I am glad that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear our appeal. I look forward to continuing to defend the Heartbeat Law and protect the right to life in court,” state Attorney General Brenna Bird said in a statement.


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