Iowa abortion provider drops challenge to 24-hour wait law

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Planned Parenthood officials in Iowa said Friday they have decided to dismiss their challenge to an Iowa law that requires abortion patients to wait 24 hours after their initial appointment to return to the doctor to get an abortion.

The case was the center of an Iowa Supreme Court ruling on June 14 in which the court allowed the law to go into effect, reversing a judge’s ruling that it was unconstitutional. The court went the extra step of reversing a 2018 Iowa Supreme Court decision that said abortion was a protected right under the Iowa Constitution, potentially making it easer now for lawmakers to get abortion restrictions approved by the courts.

Abortion remains legal in Iowa for now, but Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds said she will ask the courts to revive a six-week abortion ban law that another judge had declared unconstitutional and blocked from implementation in 2019.

Planned Parenthood, which provides most abortions in Iowa, said it made the decision with its legal counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa to dismiss the 24-hour waiting period law. Instead, Planned Parenthood will focus its efforts on fighting the governor’s attempt to revive the six-week abortion ban and counter efforts by Republican lawmakers to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot that declares no constitutional right to an abortion in Iowa exists.