Health Care

Iowa top court puts hold on new abortion restrictions

Iowa top court puts hold on new abortion restrictions”

Activists opposed to abortion rights cheered Gov. Terry Branstad as he signed new restrictions into law Friday, but the Iowa Supreme Court granted an emergency injunction against enforcing some of the limits including a three-day waiting period. Suzanna de Baca, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, says in a statement that the law had caused confusion for patients.

Farrell concluded that women could meet the 72-hour waiting period. One woman had driven seven hours to her appointment, only to be told she couldn't have the procedure today; others were angry and upset at the intrusion into their lives.

A spokesman for Governor Branstad says legal challenges are "part of the process" and Branstad is "confident that the stay will be lifted very shortly".

The changes will go into effect as soon as Branstad signs the bill, which is scheduled to happen Friday, May 5, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. Supporters responded that residents already bought fireworks in neighboring states and that people were overstating potentials dangers. The explosives could be sold from June 1 through July 8 and from December 10 through January 3 in permanent structures or tents. "We are still here for our patients, dozens of whose lives will be immediately impacted once Gov. Branstad signs this into law".

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But Iowa Solicitor General Jeffrey Thompson pointed to Planned Parenthood's business hours and scheduling as the problem, not the law itself, the AP reports. The injunction remains in effect until Monday, allowing some scheduled abortions to proceed. The legislation also requires women to wait 72 hours prior to getting an abortion. Abortion-rights groups have indicated they will fight the law in the Iowa Supreme Court. Opponents have said the identification requirement and reduction of early voting days from 40 days to 29 will suppress voter participation.

However, Branstad on Thursday praised the Legislature for passing the bill and a separate measure earmarking state money for family planning at clinics that do not provide abortions. "This law is a step toward modernizing elections with policies and infrastructure created to protect voters from error and fraud alike".

The medical malpractice law restricts some payouts to patients who win such lawsuits, though juries can override the cap in some instances.

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