Judge waits to rule on hearing to postpone Iowa abortion ban

(ABC 6 News) – Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds officially signed a bill into law Friday afternoon that bans abortions after roughly six weeks of pregnancy.

At the same time, barely a mile away, a judge heard arguments from attorneys seeking to block the bill from going into effect.

The ACLU of Iowa, Planned Parenthood North Central States and the Emma Goldman Clinic filed a petition to block Iowa’s new abortion law on Wednesday morning, just hours after the legislature passed it.

Attorneys representing those asking a judge to block the bill argue the ban would place an undue burden on Iowans seeking abortions and violate their rights.

“When there’s an abortion ban in place, people suffer, and if House File 732 takes effect, Iowans will suffer,” said the petitioner’s attorney, Peter Im.

Attorneys representing the state, Governor Reynolds and the Iowa Board of Medicine, say the rights of the unborn life that is lost during an abortion must be protected.

“The fetal heartbeat bill aims to prevent the destruction of human lives, and the court must take those lives into account in its analysis,” said Daniel Johnston, attorney for the state. “The status quo is precisely the thing that the state believes is harmful.”

Attorneys for the petitioners requested the judge make an immediate ruling, as the event where the ban was signed into law had already begun.

But after hearing arguments from both sides, Judge Joseph Seidlin announced he would not be issuing a ruling on the bench, saying it would be insulting to both sides for him to make such a serious decision so quickly.

“This issue, this case, this request, requires my strong and lengthy attention,” said Judge Seidlin.

He is expected to make his decision by Tuesday at the latest.

While they wait for the court’s decision, the Planned Parenthood North Central States says, “We stand at the ready for our patients as we await the Court’s decision and are prepared to help them get the reproductive health care they need regardless of the outcome.”