Weather Alerts

Planned Parenthood, ACLU File Lawsuit Challenging Fetal Heartbeat Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  The expected legal battle over a controversial abortion has begun in Iowa.

On Tuesday, the ACLU of Iowa announced it is filing a lawsuit to block the "Fetal Heartbeat Bill" from ever taking effect.  The bill was signed into law by Governor Kim Reynolds early this month; it is scheduled to become law on July 1st.  The bill bans most abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected.  In many instances, that could happen before a woman even knows she is pregnant.

"It's a law passed by politicians who are out of touch with the reality of woman's lives, especially the lives of everyday women who are survivors of rape and incest, have no money, little options, and few resources. These are decisions that should be left for women to make," said Francine Thompson with The Emma Goldman Clinic.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and the Emma Goldman Clinic in Iowa City are co-plaintiffs in the lawsuit.  On the surface, the bill appears to violate the protections for legal abortions created by the Supreme Court's Roe vs. Wade decision.  The battle over this law could eventually make its way to the high court, as well.

The governor's office says this move was anticipated.  The office released the following statement moments after the lawsuit was announced:

"We knew there would be a legal fight, but it’s a fight worth having to protect innocent life.  We will be represented by the Thomas More Society at no cost to taxpayers."

The ACLU says the hearings on the injunction to block the fetal heartbeat bill could begin in the next two weeks.