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Planned Parenthood of the Heartland v. Reynolds II

Description:  Iowa state legislators are challenging a 2018 Iowa Supreme Court decision that declared abortion “a fundamental right” and struck down the required 24-hour waiting period that ensured women have the opportunity to receive and evaluate important health information before proceeding with an abortion.

A pregnant woman receives an ultrasound.
Monday, Aug 8, 2022

DES MOINES, Iowa – Following the Iowa Supreme Court’s recent decision that found no constitutional right to an abortion, Planned Parenthood dismissed its lawsuit Friday against Gov. Kim Reynolds, which challenged a state law that helps ensure women are fully informed and aware of alternatives to abortion before deciding to have one.

On behalf of 60 state legislators, Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys previously filed a friend-of-the-court brief and ADF Senior Counsel Chris Schandevel argued before the Iowa Supreme Court in February, asking the court to reverse its 2018 decision in Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, known as “PPH II.” In PPH II, the court declared abortion “a fundamental right” and struck down a 72-hour waiting period that had ensured women have the opportunity to receive and evaluate important health information before proceeding with an abortion. The state legislature later passed a 24-hour waiting period, the subject of the lawsuit Planned Parenthood dismissed Friday.

“Every woman should have the information she needs to make the healthiest choice for herself and her unborn baby,” said ADF Senior Counsel Denise Harle, director of the ADF Center for Life. “Now that the Iowa Supreme Court has rightly recognized there is no constitutional right to an abortion—and Planned Parenthood has dropped its baseless case against Gov. Reynolds—state legislators have substantially more freedom to protect the most vulnerable citizens and empower women with the time and information they need before making such a life-alerting decision.”

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overruling Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Reynolds retained ADF attorneys to represent the state on remand in the 24-hour case. She also retained ADF attorneys to ask an Iowa district court to lift its 2019 injunction against enforcement of Iowa’s fetal heartbeat law. That motion is expected to be filed soon.

  • Pronunciation guide: Harle (HAR'-lee)

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.