DES MOINES – Gov. Kim Reynolds released the following statement on her decision not to appeal the ruling of Iowa District Court Judge Michael Huppert that Iowa Code chapter 146C (the Fetal Heartbeat law) violates the Iowa Constitution:
“This was an extremely difficult decision, however it is the right one for the pro-life movement and the state of Iowa. When I signed the Fetal Heartbeat bill last May, we knew that it would be an uphill fight in the courts that might take us all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
But everything changed last June, when the Iowa Supreme Court struck down our 72-hour waiting period after concluding that the Iowa Constitution provides a right to an abortion and imposes strict scrutiny on all our abortion laws. I think the Iowa Supreme Court got it wrong. But after this decision and because of Planned Parenthood’s legal maneuverings, I see no path to successfully appeal the district court’s decision or to get this lawsuit before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Rather than be distracted by a losing legal battle, now is the time to renew our focus on changing hearts and minds and to seek other ways to advance the cause of protecting the unborn in Iowa and around the nation. I’m proud to lead the most pro-life state in the country and remain firm in my belief that all human life is precious.”
Last week, Judge Huppert ruled that Iowa’s “fetal heartbeat” abortion law is unconstitutional. This May, Iowa’s Republican-controlled legislature approved what some say is the land’s most-restrictive law yet on abortion, and Reynolds signed the law into action. Abortions could not be performed once a beating heart is detected in a fetus. The law was then challenged in a lawsuit, leading to its demise.