On Friday, Iowa’s Supreme Court ruled that the state’s constitution does not protect the fundamental right to an abortion, overturning a previous ruling that enshrined the right to the procedure, allowing new restrictions to take effect.
The ruling likely clears the way for the state to restrict further or completely ban abortions should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade.
The Iowa Supreme Court ruled in 2018 that the state constitution protects abortion. However, the court overruled that decision on Friday, holding that the state constitution “is not the source of a fundamental right to an abortion.”
— Skylar Tallal (@skylarsage_news) June 17, 2022
The ruling was part of a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood concerning a mandatory 24-hour waiting period before people can get abortions in Iowa, which will now be allowed to take effect.
In its ruling, the court said that while it declared there are no “fundamental” abortion rights, it still hasn’t decided “what constitutional standard should replace it.”
For now, the state will still regulate abortion in line with federal law by not allowing any abortion restrictions that impose an “undue burden.”
Like Iowa, states such as Florida, Montana, Kansas, and Alaska have enshrined the right to an abortion under the state constitution, according to the pro-abortion rights Center for Reproductive Rights.
There is concern that those rulings could also be reversed after Iowa’s ruling on Friday.
Florida’s Supreme Court is expected to rule on the state’s 15-week abortion ban soon, and similar results are expected in the conservatively led state.
In Kansas, a measure on the ballot set for August will ask the state’s residents to decide whether the state constitution should be amended to say it does not protect abortion. Should the vote affirm such an opinion, the state will likely ban abortions.
The Iowa ruling comes as the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to overturn Roe V Wade in the coming weeks in a case concerning Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban.
A draft opinion leaked by Politico shows that most justices favored overturning the ruling as of February, which would allow states to ban abortion entirely. However, the draft was from February and is not final.
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