Reynolds asks district court to reinstate six-week abortion ban

Gov. Kim Reynolds has filed a motion asking a district court to reinstate a 2018 law banning abortions at around six weeks of pregnancy. Photo by Natalie Krebs / IPR File

By Natalie Krebs | Iowa Public Radio

Gov. Kim Reynolds has filed a motion asking a district court to lift an injunction on a 2018 law that would ban abortions at around six weeks of pregnancy.

A Polk County judge blocked the law, which bans abortion after a fetal “heartbeat” is detected at around six weeks of pregnancy, in 2018 following an Iowa Supreme Court decision earlier that year ruling abortion as a fundamental right under the state constitution.


In June, the state Supreme Court reversed the 2018 ruling lowering state protections for abortion. A week later, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Reynolds, a Republican, said she has filed the motion to reinstate the abortion restriction based on these recent court rulings.

“The historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe has given us a new hope and pathway forward to challenge the Iowa court’s previous decision,” she said, in a statement. “Life and death are determined by a person’s heartbeat, and I believe that includes our unborn children.”


Abortion is legal in Iowa up to 20 weeks of pregnancy.


Iowa House Democratic Leader Jennifer Konfrst said in a statement Thursday that she is “fed up with politicians inferring in deeply personal decisions.”


“Governor Reynolds and GOP lawmakers will not stop until there is a complete abortion ban in Iowa,” she said. “It’s just politics for them and they’ve forgotten about how this will impact Iowans.”


Attorney Alan Ostergren with the far right-wing legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, is representing the state at no cost to taxpayers and filed the motion on Thursday.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, a Democrat, has declined to participate in Gov. Reynolds’ legal actions on abortion.

Last Friday, the ACLU of Iowa and Planned Parenthood announced they would no longer pursue action on the state’s 24-hour waiting period law for those seeing an abortion.

The pro-abortion rights organizations said they will instead focus on fighting other abortion restrictions — including the law banning abortions at around six-weeks, which Reynolds previously announced she intended to ask the court to reinstate.

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