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Planned Parenthood of the Heartland v. Reynolds I

Description:  In 2019, the Iowa Supreme Court permanently enjoined Iowa’s fetal heartbeat law, which was enacted to protect innocent, unborn life by prohibiting elective abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat.


Baby feet
Thursday, Oct 27, 2022

WHO:  Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys

WHAT:  Available for media interviews following oral arguments in Planned Parenthood of the Heartland v. Reynolds

WHEN:  Immediately following hearing, which begins at 1:30 pm CDT, Friday, Oct. 28

WHERE:  Iowa District Court for Polk County, 500 Mulberry St., Room 212, Des Moines. To schedule an interview, contact ADF Media Relations Specialist Hayden Sledge at (205) 767-4705.

DES MOINES, Iowa – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds will be available for media interviews Friday following oral arguments in state court in Planned Parenthood of the Heartland v. Reynolds. Reynolds is asking the court to lift its 2019 injunction against enforcement of the state’s fetal heartbeat law, which was enacted to protect unborn lives by prohibiting elective abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

“Pro-life laws like Iowa’s fetal heartbeat law not only protect the lives of countless innocent, unborn children, but they also protect the dignity and health of women—providing real support and health care during a vulnerable time,” said ADF Senior Counsel Denise Harle, director of the ADF Center for Life. “We’re pleased to support Governor Reynolds in helping defend Iowa’s fetal heartbeat law as we continue our crucial efforts promoting life-affirming laws for mothers and children.”

“Iowa has the strongest possible interest in protecting the most fundamental of our human rights—the right to life—and thankfully, its pro-life law helps secure that right,” said ADF Senior Counsel Chris Schandevel, who will be arguing before the court on behalf of Reynolds. “We’re honored to join Governor Reynolds and all Iowans as they defend life for the unborn.”

Notably this year, the Iowa Supreme Court overturned its 2018 opinion that had found a state constitutional right to an abortion and the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. In the brief ADF attorneys filed with the court on behalf of the governor, they explain that those recent court decisions have changed the law so significantly that the court should now lift its previous injunction and allow Iowa’s fetal heartbeat law to take effect.

Iowa’s fetal heartbeat law contains exceptions for medical emergencies, including threats to the mother’s life and serious risk of bodily harm, and for cases of rape, incest, and fetal abnormality.

  • Pronunciation guide: Harle (HAR'-lee); Schandevel (SHAN’-deh-vell)

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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ABOUT Denise Harle

Denise Harle serves as senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, where she is the director of the Center for Life. Prior to joining ADF, Harle served as deputy solicitor general in the Office of the Florida Attorney General, where she drafted appellate briefs and presented oral arguments on behalf of the state in a wide variety of constitutional cases, including defending the constitutionality of pro-life laws. In 2017, she participated in the prestigious Supreme Court Fellow program, sponsored by the National Association of Attorneys General. She clerked for Justice Ricky L. Polston on the Florida Supreme Court and worked for several years as an appellate litigator at a large firm in California. Harle earned bachelor’s degrees, summa cum laude, in psychology and interdisciplinary social science from Florida State University, a master’s degree in political science from Stanford University, and a Juris Doctor from Duke University School of Law. At Duke, she served as the executive editor of Law & Contemporary Problems. A member of the state bars of California, Florida, and Georgia, she is admitted to multiple federal district and appellate courts, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court.