The waiting period was part of an abortion-related bill Governor Terry Branstad signed into the law last Friday. Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa went to court, challenging the proposed 72-hour waiting period for women seeking abortions.
A district court dismissed the case, but on Friday the Iowa Supreme Court issued a temporary order. It blocked that waiting period from taking immediate effect. Legal briefs were submitted Monday. On Tuesday afternoon, the Supreme Court extended their temporary injunction until a district court re-hears and rules, again, on the case.
The court noted the law requires the Iowa Department of Public Health to write guidelines for what doctors must discuss with women seeking an abortion. Those guidelines aren’t written yet. The bill the governor approved calls for women to be told about the medical risks associated with abortion and be counseled about other options. Critics say the proposal creates new hurdles for low income and rural women who want to terminate a pregnancy.
The part of the new law that did take effect last week bans nearly all abortions after a pregnancy reaches the 20th week. The only exception would be for late-term abortions to save the life or health of the mother.