Key state policymakers, including Iowa’s Republican governor, do not expect to push the 2019 Iowa legislature to pass a ban on all abortions in the state.
“I don’t have any intention of doing that until we see what happens with the courts,” Reynolds told Radio Iowa.
In May, Governor Kim Reynolds signed a law to ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat may be detected. That happens around the sixth week of a pregnancy. Reynolds said it’s best to wait until the court challenge of that law is decided before considering another abortion-related measure.
“Let’s just see how this all plays out,” Reynolds said in a post-Election interview with Radio Iowa. “For Heaven’s sake, let’s just take a breath and see what happens with that and then decide what the next steps are.”
Republican Senator Jason Schultz of Schleswig has previously sponsored what’s referred to as a “personhood” bill that would ban all abortions in Iowa. During an interview with Radio Iowa, Schultz called Iowa’s new fetal heartbeat standard the toughest abortion law in the country.
“As that law works its way through the judicial system, I think it would probably be counterproductive on my part to file any other bill,” Schultz said. “I’m going to hold off.”
Last week, a federal judge permanently blocked a Mississippi law that would have banned abortions after the 15th week of a pregnancy. Iowa’s ban on abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy is being challenged in state rather than federal court.
It’s unclear when a decision from the Iowa Supreme Court may be issued on Iowa’s new abortion restriction, which has not gone into effect because of the court challenge. It was more than a year before the state supreme court ruled a 2017 law requiring a three-day waiting period before an abortion was unconstitutional.