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Groups file lawsuit seeking to block abortion waiting period

June 23, 2020 GMT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Two organizations filed a lawsuit Tuesday that seeks to stop a 24-hour waiting period for abortions that was approved by Iowa lawmakers in the closing hours of the legislative session.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and a doctor represented by Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa filed the suit in state court. The suit seeks to block the measure and to impose a temporary injunction to stop it from taking effect July 1.

Opponents of the waiting period expect it to be signed into law by Gov. Kim Reynolds, who is an outspoken opponent of abortion rights.

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The waiting period was approved on the last day of a shortened legislative session when House Republicans added a last-minute amendment without debate to an unrelated bill.

The waiting period has been a priority of Republicans who were angered by an Iowa Supreme Court ruling two years ago that found a 72-hour waiting period law was unconstitutional. The court also declared the Iowa Constitution guarantees women the right to control their own bodies, including making decisions about abortion.

Since the last ruling, Reynolds has appointed four justices to the Iowa Supreme Court and Republicans are hopeful the current court will reach a different conclusion.

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