Iowa’s Supreme Court Friday ruled there is no state constitutional right to an abortion. The decision reverses a 2018 state Supreme Court decision that affirmed a state constitutional right to abortion.
In Friday’s decision overturning that right to abortion, Iowa Supreme Court Justice Edward Mansfield wrote, “Although we overrule (the 2018 decision), and thus reject the proposition that there is a fundamental right to an abortion in Iowa’s Constitution subjecting abortion regulation to strict scrutiny, we do not at this time decide what constitutional standard should replace it. ”
Republican Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds praised the state Supreme Court decision ending Iowa’s state constitutional right to abortion.
“Today’s ruling is a significant victory in our fight to protect the unborn,” Gov. Reynolds said in a statement. “The Iowa Supreme Court reversed its earlier 2018 decision, which made Iowa the most abortion-friendly state in the country. Every life is sacred and should be protected, and as long as I’m governor that is exactly what I will do.”
In Friday’s decision, Justice Mansfield wrote that the state Supreme Court was not blind to the pending U.S. Supreme Court opinion on Roe vs. Wade.
“That case could alter the federal constitutional landscape established by Roe and Casey,” Justice Mansfield wrote. “While we zealously guard our ability to interpret the Iowa Constitution independently of the Supreme Court’s interpretations of the Federal Constitution, the opinion (or opinions) in that case may provide insights that we are currently lacking.”
Iowa’s Supreme Court Chief Justice Susan Christensen dissented from the majority ruling, writing, “I cannot join the majority’s decision to overrule Planned Parenthood of the Heartland v. Reynolds (PPH II), 915 N.W.2d 206 (Iowa 2018), because I do not believe any special justification ‘over and above the [majority’s] belief that the precedent was wrongly decided’ warrants such a swift departure from the court’s 2018 decision.”
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