Iowa Supreme Court Ruling Strikes Constitutional Protection For Abortion

(Timothy Tai/Columbia Daily Tribune via AP, File)

On Friday, the Iowa Supreme Court issued a ruling finding there is not legal protection for abortion in the state constitution.

The ruling reversed a decision made by a district court in 2018 regarding a law that required a 24-hour waiting period before a woman can abort her child.


The make-up of the Iowa Supreme Court has changed dramatically under Republican Governor Kim Reynolds, who has named four of seven justices to the court since 2017.

WHO13 News reports  Justice Edward Mansfield, who wrote the opinion, rejects the notion that politics played a part in the decision, suggesting it was a correcting a political ruling rather than making one.

The opinion released Friday and written by Justice Edward Mansfield said the court isn’t obligated to abide by precedent, especially in cases evaluating constitutional rights or in cases decided recently.

The reversal reflects a dramatic change in the court’s makeup. Gov. Kim Reynolds has named four justices since 2017, and six of the seven people on the court were appointed by Republican governors.

But Mansfield rejected the argument by legal scholars and law professors that said shifting opinions on such important matters within a short period of time feeds into the idea that courts are politicized.

“We do not agree that every state supreme court decision is entitled to some minimum try-out period before it can be challenged,” he said.


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