An Iowa judge temporarily blocked the state’s new six-week abortion ban on Monday.
The judge’s order means that abortion is now once again legal up to 20 weeks of pregnancy in the state again, days after it became illegal when Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the ban into law Friday, The Associated Press reported.
What’s in Iowa’s 6-week abortion ban?
The bill, which the Iowa legislature voted to pass last week, prohibits “abortion involving the detection of a fetal heartbeat,” or “cardiac activity,” which is typically around six weeks.
According to The New York Times, this is “before many women know they are pregnant.”
The bill provides some exceptions in cases of rape, incest or if the life of the pregnant woman is endangered, the Deseret News previously reported.
The law went into effect immediately after Reynolds signed the bill on Friday.
Judge suspends abortion ban amid lawsuit
Polk County District Judge Joseph Seidlin ordered a temporary suspension of the new abortion ban on Monday after the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, Planned Parenthood North Central States and the Emma Goldman Clinic sued to block the law from going into effect, NBC News reported.
“The court will grant the temporary injunction requested here,” Seidlin wrote. “In doing so, it recognizes that there are good, honorable and intelligent people — morally, politically and legally — on both sides of this upsetting societal and constitutional dilemma. Patience and perseverance are also hallmark traits on both sides, traits that continue to deserve respect.”
What happens next?
The new abortion ban will be on hold as the legal challenge plays out in court.
In his ruling Monday, Seidlin stated that the plaintiffs — the ACLU of Iowa, Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers — “were likely to succeed on the merits of their case,” according to The New York Times.