Abortion: judge temporarily blocks controversial heartbeat law in Iowa

Governor Kim Reynolds signs SF-359, one of the most restrictive abortion bills in the United States. It prohibits an abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected. It will be challenged in court, something bill supporters want. It has the potential to go to the U. S. Supreme Court and a decision could overturn Roe vs. Wade. 5/4/2018 Photo by John Pemble

A judge will temporarily block the most restrictive abortion law in the country that will take effect in Iowa next month under an agreement between state attorneys and abortion rights groups.

State attorneys and Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds agreed on Friday to prevent the law from going into effect on July 1 after discussions with the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Emma Goldman Clinic, a center of reproductive health for women in Iowa City.

The defense groups have sued the state to block the law, which was passed by the legislature in early May and immediately became the most restrictive abortion regulation in the country. Controversially, the new law prohibits most abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected at six weeks, even before many women know they are pregnant.

The new law is part of the conservative crusade throughout the country, especially in the heart and the south, to fight against the rights of abortion incrementally, with the aim of taking the case to the supreme court in the hope that it will annul the landmark Roe v Wade decision that legalized abortion in the United States in 1973.

Advocates of reproductive rights hope that the state’s extreme position will take female voters to the polls in support of pro-choice candidates. But they also fear that Trump’s conversion to an anti-choice platform, combined with the possibility of him playing in courts with ultraconservative judges, admits to poor access to abortion, the surgical and pill method, and birth control.

A lawyer for the state of Iowa said Friday that the administration expected to quickly present the case before a judge to argue that the new law is constitutional.

Judge Michael Huppert said during a court hearing on Friday morning that he will issue an injunction later that day.

Reynolds signed into law on May 2, two days after lawmakers in the Republican-dominated legislature passed it.

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