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NOTE TO PRESS: A recording of today’s virtual press conference is available here.

DES MOINES, IA — Today, the Iowa Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that may determine whether abortion rights will continue to be protected in Iowa now and for generations to come. 

The State is asking the Court to reverse a trial court’s temporary injunction blocking a law banning abortion at about six weeks of pregnancy. The law was passed during an unprecedented special session last year and has been blocked since the trial court’s decision last July. The enactment of this ban is part of an ongoing effort by Iowa legislative leaders and Gov. Reynolds to eliminate abortion care in Iowa. 

The lawsuit challenging the ban was brought by Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the ACLU of Iowa on behalf of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland (a wholly owned subsidiary of Planned Parenthood North Central States), the Emma Goldman Clinic, and Dr. Sarah Traxler. Although the Court could rule at any time after the oral arguments, it is expected to release its decision by the end of its current term in late June. 

Ruth Richardson, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States 
“We are at a pivotal moment for reproductive rights and freedoms in this state. For now abortion remains safe and legal in Iowa. But the right to abortion is hanging by a thread. This manufactured chaos is unnecessarily hurting patients and putting their health and futures at risk. Planned Parenthood is here with you. We will continue to support patients, to stay with them, to deliver care in any way we can. We have never been more committed to providing and protecting the essential reproductive health care Iowans so desperately need.” 

Rita Bettis Austen, legal director for the ACLU of Iowa
“We’re in court today because the state politicians who enacted this ban think it should be up to them to control the bodies and decisions of Iowans by banning abortion before many people even know they are pregnant. We’re arguing that the district court was right to block this cruel law. It is essential to protect the bodily autonomy and freedom of Iowans, as well as their health and safety, while our case to block this unconstitutional and dangerous abortion ban is tried in court. We know Iowans stand with us in wanting to protect abortion rights and keep politicians out of medical decision-making.”

Francine Thompson, Emma Goldman Clinic
“The reproductive freedom of Iowans now and for years to come is at stake. With one fell swoop, Iowans’ control over their bodies and futures could be erased, paving the way for a reality of forced pregnancies and difficult decisions. Every person deserves access to essential health care. And that includes abortion care. They need comprehensive, medically accurate information to make the decisions that are best for themselves and their families. A majority of Iowans believe abortion care should be safe, legal, and accessible for all. They also believe that individuals and not politicians should make these personal decisions. We at the Emma Goldman Clinic believe that too and will continue to fight for reproductive freedom."


Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable sexual and reproductive health care for all people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With nearly 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect, and without judgment, striving to create equitable access to health care. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable education and information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports the independently incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates operating health centers across the U.S.


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