Judge Ruling In Iowa Abortion Case Could Spur Federal Suit

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa judge says an organization that fights against rape, incest or fetal abnormality exceptions in abortion-related legislation cannot intervene in a lawsuit challenging Iowa’s fetal heartbeat law.

The Iowa affiliates of the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit in May challenging the constitutionality of a law that would prohibit most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Michigan-based Save The 1 sought to intervene in the lawsuit, alleging the law is unlawful under the state and federal constitutions because it discriminates against fetuses created by rape or incest and those with medical anomalies by allowing them to be aborted.

Judge Michael Huppert in an order filed Wednesday says the group’s claims go beyond the issues of the initial lawsuit and would delay the case.

An attorney for Save The 1 says she will file a federal lawsuit seeking to remove the exceptions portion of the law.

If successful, that could leave Iowa with among the nation’s most restrictive abortion laws, banning abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected with no exceptions.