Abortion Restrictions Trial Ends, District Court’s Ruling More Than A Month Away

Jul 19, 2017

The bench trial in the case questioning the constitutionality of new abortion restrictions in Iowa ended yesterday, but it will be more than a month before the district court rules.

The case challenges a new law that requires a woman have an ultrasound three days before terminating her pregnancy. This rule not only mandates a delay, but also forces a woman to attend two separate medical appointments.

Testimony is finished. But both Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and the ACLU of Iowa, who are the co-plaintiffs, and the state of Iowa, the case’s defendant, have another month to submit closing and reply briefs.

Then Polk County District Court Judge Jeffery Farrell will submit a ruling sometime after August 25. Any ruling in expected to be appealed.

Nearly three years ago, Farrell heard a similar case on whether the state could ban telemedicine abortions. He ruled in favor of the ban, but this decision was unanimously overturned by the Iowa Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court’s next session begins on Sept. 1.