Iowa AG refuses to defend 'heartbeat' abortion law

Iowa Attorney General Refuses To Defend Abortion Heartbeat Law

"Attorney General Tom Miller's decision to disqualify himself is based on his determination that he could not defend the Iowa fetal heartbeat law because of his personal beliefs", Cannon said, adding the Thomas More Society's "mission is to protect women and babies from the devastating consequences of abortion."We feel very confident moving forward with it", said Reynolds, "and so it's important that, first of all, this is about life, it's about protecting life and that's first and foremost the priority, and we have somebody that has agreed to represent us and do it at no cost to the taxpayers".

Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union announced lawsuits to stop the abortion law Tuesday. The law is slated to take effect July 1.

Miller decided that he "could not zealously assert the state's position because of his core belief that the statute, if upheld, would undermine rights and protections for women", according to a letter from Solicitor General Jeffrey Thompson.

After consulting with the Governor's office and legislators, the Attorney General would recommend the Executive Council authorize the appointment of the Thomas More Society, 19 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, IL 60603, to represent the state in this litigation.

"With it, Iowa politicians have tried to ban virtually all abortions for women in our state".

Although federal law already forbids the use of federal funding for abortions in most cases, Republicans have long insisted that money going to Planned Parenthood indirectly supports the procedure. The firm had no immediate comment. So this isn't only an attack on abortion rights.

Iowa Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds said she anticipated the lawsuits when she signed Senate file 359. "It's about protecting life".

Other plaintiffs include Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, the affiliate's medical director and the Emma Goldman Clinic in Iowa City.

"Reinstating President Ronald Reagan's Title X regulations is sorely needed to bring the program into clear alignment with the statutory requirement stating, 'None of the funds appropriated under this title shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.' Abortion is not family planning and the law recognizes that", read the letter. It is the earliest abortion ban in the United States.

To survive a Supreme Court challenge, at least five of the court's nine judges would have to uphold the law.

"I understand and anticipate that this will likely be challenged in court, and that courts may even put a hold on the law until it reaches the Supreme Court", she said.

The law is evidence of the state's conservative shift after the 2016 election, when Republicans gained control of the Legislature and the governor's office for the first time in almost 20 years.

Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU blasted the law Tuesday during a press conference.

Iowa Republicans a year ago also gave up millions in federal dollars to create a state-funded family planning program that prohibits participation from abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood.

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