A district court judge has ruled that a state law that would ban most abortions is still unconstitutional and the permanent injunction barring it from taking effect remains in place.

In 2018, Governor Kim Reynolds signed a bill to make most abortions illegal after a fetal heartbeat is detected. That’s about the sixth week of a pregnancy. Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa immediately sued and prevented the law from taking effect. In 2019, a district court judge issued a permanent injunction.

A Polk County District Court judge has ruled she has no authority to lift that order and her ruling goes on to say it’s the Iowa Supreme Court, not the district court, that will decide what legal standards should be used to review abortion-related cases.

“The court is bound by the law,” Judge Celene Gogerty wrote. “…Even if the court had jurisdiction to dissolve the permanent injunction, the State has failed to show that there has been a substantial change in the law under the Iowa Constitution that would change the circumstances.”

Governor Kim Reynolds issued a written statement, saying she’s “very disappointed in the ruling…but regardless of the outcome, this case was always going to the Iowa Supreme Court.”

Reynolds said she’ll appeal the decision immediately. “Iowa and U.S. Courts have made clear, there is no fundamental right to an abortion,” she said. “The decision of the people’s representatives to protect life should be honored.”

House Minority Leader Jennifer Konfrst, a Democrat from Windsor Heights, said the ruling temporarily protects abortion rights in Iowa.

“We know that Iowa Republicans and Governor Reynolds will stop at nothing to deny Iowans their reproductive rights, in the courts and in the legislature,” Konfrst said in a written statement.

Radio Iowa