Court-upheld heartbeat law called a testament of courage

Court-upheld heartbeat law called a testament of courage

Court-upheld heartbeat law called a testament of courage

Pro-lifers are celebrating the Iowa Supreme Court decision advising a lower court to allow the state's ban on most abortions after six weeks.

Though abortion proponents maintain that a woman has a constitutional right to end her preborn child's life, Justice Matthew McDermott wrote in the majority's opinion that a right to an abortion is "not rooted at all in our state's history and tradition."

The 4-3 decision comes nearly a year after Republican Governor Kim Reynolds (pictured above) signed the heartbeat bill (HF 732) into law, prohibiting almost all abortions once cardiac activity can be detected, which is usually around six weeks of pregnancy.

It was in effect a few days before a district court judge put it on pause and she appealed.

"I'm glad that the Iowa Supreme Court has upheld the will of the people of Iowa," Gov. Reynolds said in a statement on Friday.  

Attorney Chris Schandevel of Alliance Defending Freedom, which filed a friend of the court brief in November asking the court to allow the law to take effect, is also pleased with the ruling.

Schandevel, Chris (ADF) Schandevel

"What the Iowa Supreme Court held clearly is that there is no fundamental right to abortion under the Iowa Constitution," he summarizes. "Applying rational basis review, this law withstands constitutional scrutiny. And because of that decision, this law should be allowed to go into effect, and we believe it absolutely will take effect here very soon."

Schandevel says Iowans achieved this victory for themselves through their elected representatives, and he calls it a testament to their courage, specifically that of Gov. Reynolds and Attorney General Brenna Bird (R).

The instructions to the lower court will be formally sent in 21 days, but for now, abortion remains legal in Iowa up to 20 weeks of pregnancy. It is unclear how long the district court would take to act after that point.