DES MOINES, Iowa (KCAU) — Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said she is planning legal action in the state after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Reynolds is urging the Iowa Supreme Court to rehear the case of Planned Parenthood v. Reynolds. She also is asking the Iowa courts to lift the injunction against the enforcement of Iowa’s fetal heartbeat law.
The Iowa Supreme Court had released a decision on Planned Parenthood v. Reynolds (PPH IV) on June 17, before the June 24 decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturned Roe v. Wade. Reynolds’ office said in a release that Iowa Justice Mansfield said that the Dobbs decision “could alter the federal constitutional landscape established by Roe and Casey” and “provide insights that [the Iowa Supreme Court is] currently lacking.” Reynolds said now that the decision has been released, the Iowa Supreme Court may re-decide the PPH IV case. Reynolds will file for a rehearing by Friday.
In addition to asking the Iowa Supreme Court to rehear the PPH IV case, Reynolds is also asking Iowa courts to lift the injunction against the enforcement of Iowa’s fetal heartbeat law. Reynolds signed the law in 2018, outlawing abortion at six weeks. Based upon the Iowa Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling of PPH II (Planned Parenthood of the Heartland v. Reynolds ex rel. State), a Polk County district court judge enjoined that law, which prohibited Iowa officials from enforcing it. With the Iowa Supreme Court overturning the 2018 decision of PPH II, Reynolds is now asking the district court to lift the injunction.
“Now is the time for us to stand up and continue the fight to protect the unborn,” Reynolds said. “The Supreme Court’s historic decision reaffirms that states have the right to protect the innocent and defenseless unborn—and now it’s time for our state to do just that. As governor, I will do whatever it takes to defend the most important freedom there is: the right to life.”
Even with the governor’s litigation, her office is reminding residents that the ban on abortions in Iowa is still 20 weeks. In addition, she said there are statewide options to support mothers. A piece of legislation called More Options for Maternal Support, or MOMS, created a statewide program to promote healthy pregnancies and childbirth. This helps provide support in parenting education, nutritional services, and material items such as diapers and car seats, for women who find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy.
Reynolds said that while the Iowa Supreme Courts June 17 decision was a step in the right direction, “more work to be done in Iowa’s courts to fully protect the life of the unborn.”
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller stated he will be withdrawing from representing the State in these matters, saying in part “I doubt that I can zealously assert the state’s position.” Miller’s full statement can be read here.
Reynolds said she will retain Alliance Defending Freedom and Iowa attorney Alan Ostergren, President and Chief Counsel of the Kirkwood Institute, to represent the State at no cost to Iowa taxpayers.
Read more about the governor’s decision here.