Governor Kim Reynolds issued an order last week that cancelled all elective surgeries through April 16th. According to the agreement, the governor’s proclamation only suspends “non-essential” surgical abortions. ACLU of Iowa spokesperson Veronica Fowler says it ensures doctors can treat abortion the same as other procedures and make decisions based on individual patients.
“We have confidence that the state will do what it says it’s going to do, that women who need essential abortion services will continue receiving them without interference from the state,” Fowler says.
Abortions are illegal in Iowa after the 20th week of a pregnancy and delaying some surgical abortions could send women past that timeline. Medication abortions have never been affected by the governor’s order.
The Family Leader, a conservative group that supports an outright ban on abortion, issued a scathing statement. Family Leader CEO Bob Vander Plaats accused Planned Parenthood of trying to “hoard” medical supplies that doctors and nurses need as they deal with COVID-19.
(By Iowa Public Radio’s Katarina Sostaric; Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson also contributed to this story.)