Judge permanently blocks Iowa law mandating 24-hour waiting period

An Iowa judge has permanently blocked a state law mandating a 24-hour waiting period before getting an abortion.

In June 2020, Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signed the measure in question requiring people seeking an abortion to make an additional appointment at least 24 hours before their procedure. Under the legislation, women would have to receive an ultrasound and certain state-mandated information and then wait at least 24 hours before having an abortion.

Just after the state legislature passed the bill, Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit to block the measure.

Ruling: In a 28-page ruling on Monday, Judge Mitchell E. Turner found that the law violated the state’s constitution because it was passed as an amendment to an unrelated measure. He also found that the measure was similar to a 72-hour waiting period on abortions that the Iowa Supreme Court struck down in 2018.

Turner noted that a review of videos from the Iowa legislature made it clear that the measure violated the single-subject rule of the state’s constitution — which mandates that an act has to only address one issue.

“Upon review of both the Iowa Senate and House videos, it is abundantly clear to this Court that what occurred in the Iowa Legislature on June 13th and 14th, 2020 was exactly such ‘tricks in legislation’ and ‘mischiefs’ that the single-subject rule exists to prevent,” Turner wrote.