Press Release: Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Planned Parenthood Fights Iowa 6-Week Abortion Ban in Court

Washington, DC — Today, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU of Iowa filed suit in Iowa state court against a law that bars abortion after six weeks, which is before many women even know they’re pregnant. Not only is this law blatantly unconstitutional — it’s extremely harmful to women.

Iowa politicians are disregarding Roe v. Wade, in which the Supreme Court — 45 years ago — guaranteed a woman’s constitutional right to access safe, legal abortion. The Iowa Constitution, too, protects this right. In fact, since Roe, all such bans have been blocked by the courts.

Statement from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

Today, we’re fighting back in court for every person’s individual rights and freedoms, which go to the heart of who we are as a country. This dangerous law decimates a woman’s right to control her life at the most basic level, including whether and when to become a parent. Enough is enough. Gov. Kim Reynolds has no right to impose her beliefs on Iowa women. We will not back down until every person has the freedom and opportunity to make the health care decisions that are best for them and their families.

Statement from Rita Bettis, Legal Director, ACLU of Iowa: 

This abortion ban is beyond extreme. With it, Iowa politicians have tried to ban virtually all abortions for women in our state. In the 45 years since Roe, no federal or state court has upheld such a dangerous law.

Iowa isn’t the only state flouting the Supreme Court. Abortion access in many states hangs in the balance. States like Missouri and Arkansas continue to press medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion that burden women, even after the Supreme Court said that these laws cannot stand. This disturbing trend threatens the very fabric of our judicial system because it allows politicians to ignore existing law, and women are suffering because of it.

When states restrict access to abortion, the harmful consequences disproportionately affect communities that already face systemic barriers to health care, including people of color, young people, those in rural areas, and those with low incomes. For some, traveling out of state for health care is not an option, and these women would be forced to carry a pregnancy to term against their will or take matters into their own hands.