An Iowa judge is temporarily blocking the state’s newly-signed “heartbeat bill” from going into effect, he announced on Friday.
Judge Michael Huppert issued a temporary injunction against the law after a coalition of pro-abortion groups filed suit, saying it was unconstitutional.
The law, which bans abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat - usually around the sixth week of pregnancy - was signed into law by Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) in early May. Limited exceptions for abortion would be allowed in cases of rape, incest, fetal abnormality, or to protect the health of the mother.
In a statement after signing the bill, Gov. Reynolds said that while there would likely be legal challenges to the law, she will “not back down.”
“This is bigger than just a law, this is about life,” she said.
Shortly after the passage of the bill, the American Civil Liberties Union as well as Planned Parenthood Federation of America filed suit to block the bill. Iowa’s Attorney General Tom Miller, a Democrat, said that he would not defend the bill in court because he does not agree with it.
Instead, the state will be represented by the Thomas More Society, a pro-life national public interest law firm.
The law was set to go into effect on July 1. Now, the attorneys representing the state hope the law will go quickly before a judge, who will determine whether or not it is constitutional.
Prior to the passage of this bill, abortion was legal in Iowa until the 20th week of pregnancy.
The Iowa bill is part of a wave of pro-life legislation in recent months.
On Wednesday, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, signed a bill that would ban most abortions after 15 weeks in the state. The Louisiana law is modeled after a similar measure in Mississippi, and will go into effect only if a federal judge upholds the Mississippi law, the Associated Press reported.
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