Iowa Supreme Court split on 6-week abortion ban

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(ABC 6 News) – The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled that abortion will remain legal after six weeks of pregnancy.

The court has struck down an attempted appeal of the law by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, which would have banned abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Many doctors say that women don’t know if they’re pregnant six weeks into a pregnancy. Now abortions will remain legal up to 20 weeks into a pregnancy.

The ruling kept Iowa from becoming the second state in the country, next to Georgia, with an abortion ban six weeks into a pregnancy. And it came down to a 3-3 decision.

Iowa Supreme Court Justice Dana Oxley had recused herself from the decision as her former law firm had represented an abortion clinic that had been a plaintiff in a case back in 2018.

In a small Iowa town such as Cresco, women there are seeing this as a positive for their state.

“I think it’s wonderful for women, I think it’s wonderful for society,” said Paige Bordwell of Cresco. “Women should have the right to choose and it should be no one else’s business. And that is what Iowa did today.”

Governor Kim Reynolds disagrees saying in a released statement, “There is no fundamental right to abortion and any law restricting it should be reviewed on a rational basis standard.”

The ruling makes Iowa the ninth state in the nation to stop attempts by state legislatures to ban abortion entirely.

“We are overjoyed and relieved from today’s order,” said Rita Bettis Austen, ACLU of Iowa Legal Director. “We know that many Iowans were depending on the outcome of this case today and we are celebrating the preservation of our freedom, health and safety.”

The impact of this decision will also impact four neighboring states. Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin have bans on abortions after 12 weeks (Nebraska) and the rest, full bans.

“It’s now creating a safe space for women in the state and surrounding states where they’re not giving women this right anymore,” said Bordwell