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Iowa's Supreme Court tells lower court to let strict abortion law go into effect

The Iowa Supreme Court said Friday the state’s strict abortion law is legal, telling a lower court to dissolve a temporary block on the law and allowing Iowa to ban most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy — before many women know they are pregnant.

The 4-3 ruling is a win for Republican lawmakers, and Iowa joins more than a dozen other states with restrictive abortion laws following the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022.

Currently, 14 states have near-total bans at all stages of pregnancy and three ban abortions at about six weeks.

The Iowa Supreme Court’s majority reiterated on Friday that there is no constitutional right to abortion. Moreover, as the state requested, they instructed courts to assess whether the government has a legitimate interest in restricting the procedure, rather than whether there is too heavy a burden for people seeking abortion access.

Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds immediately released a statement celebrating the decision.

“I’m glad that the Iowa Supreme Court has upheld the will of the people of Iowa,” she said.

Chief Justice Susan Christensen emphatically delivered a dissent, writing: “Today, our court’s majority strips Iowa women of their bodily autonomy by holding that there is no fundamental right to terminate a pregnancy under our state constitution. I cannot stand by this decision.”

There are limited circumstances under the Iowa law that would allow for abortion after six weeks of pregnancy: rape, if reported to law enforcement or a health provider within 45 days; incest, if reported within 145 days; if the fetus has a fetal abnormality “incompatible with life”; or if the pregnancy is endangering the life of the patient. The state’s medical board recently

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