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Planned Parenthood of the Heartland v. Reynolds III

Description:  Planned Parenthood and other abortionists in Iowa are challenging the state’s fetal heartbeat law, which was enacted to protect innocent, unborn life by prohibiting elective abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat.

Iowa Supreme Court building in Des Moines, Iowa
Friday, Jun 28, 2024

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Chris Schandevel regarding the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision Friday in Planned Parenthood of the Heartland v. Reynolds to reverse a lower court’s temporary injunction on Iowa’s fetal heartbeat law and allow it to take effect:

“States have the strongest possible interest in protecting the most fundamental of our human rights: the right to life. So we’re thrilled to join the people of Iowa in celebrating today’s decision by Iowa’s highest court. Iowans have been eager to declare that life is a human right, which they can now freely do. We commend the dedicated efforts of the state legislature for passing the fetal heartbeat law multiple times and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird for their tireless defense of this life-saving law. Iowa women deserve the dignity and respect that comes from receiving life-affirming health care—not the abortion industry’s false choice between doing what’s best for women and protecting the lives of their unborn children.”

“The State offers several interests that it asserts are advanced by the fetal heartbeat statute, each of which was recognized by the United States Supreme Court as a legitimate state interest in Dobbs: ‘respect for and preservation of prenatal life at all stages of development’; ‘protection of maternal health and safety’; ‘elimination of particularly gruesome or barbaric medical procedures’; ‘preservation of the integrity of the medical profession’; ‘mitigation of fetal pain’; and ‘prevention of discrimination on the basis of race, sex, or disability,’” the court wrote in its opinion.

“The state’s interest in protecting the unborn can be traced to Iowa’s earliest days. Every ground the State identifies is a legitimate interest for the legislature to pursue, and the restrictions on abortion in the fetal heartbeat statute are rationally related to advancing them. As a result, Planned Parenthood’s substantive due process challenge fails. The district court thus erred in granting the temporary injunction,” the court further wrote.

ADF attorneys filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the court in November, urging it to allow the state’s fetal heartbeat law to take effect. ADF attorneys, alongside Iowa’s governor and attorney general, have been working with Iowans to defend life for the past three years.

  • Pronunciation guide: 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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