Planned Parenthood Fights to Stop Women From Seeing Ultrasound of Their Baby Before Abortion

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jun 30, 2020   |   12:33PM   |   Des Moines, IA

Planned Parenthood was back in court Monday fighting against an Iowa law that would require abortion facilities to give women time to reflect and consider information about their unborn babies before going through with an abortion.

The billion-dollar abortion chain and the American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit, and a judge granted them a hearing before Gov. Kim Reynolds even signed the pro-life bill into law.

Cedar Rapids Gazette reports Johnson County District Court Judge Mitchell Turner considered arguments Monday about whether to issue a temporary injunction blocking the law.

Scheduled to go into effect Wednesday, the law ensures abortion facilities give women the opportunity to see their unborn babies on an ultrasound and hear their baby’s heartbeat at least 24 hours prior to the abortion. In addition, Iowa requires abortion facilities to provide women with information about abortion risks and resources available for parenting and adoption, and to confirm in writing that the women received it.

It passed the state legislature earlier this month, and Reynolds, a pro-life Republican, signed it Monday.

During the court hearing Monday, Alice Clapman, an attorney for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, claimed the law would put an undue burden on women seeking abortions by requiring them to make two trips to an abortion facility. She argued that the waiting period could lead to increased medical risks because later abortions are more dangerous, according to the report.

Clapman also told the judge that Iowa has only six abortion facilities that do drug-induced abortions and two that do surgical abortions, and many women make long trips to get abortions.

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But Thomas Ogden, the Assistant Iowa Attorney General, told the judge that Planned Parenthood does not even have standing to sue, the report states. He said the abortion chain brought the lawsuit, not Iowa women, and Planned Parenthood did not prove that it would be “irreparably harmed” by the law.

Ogden said the abortion chain should not get a special exception to the third-party standing requirements. He urged the court to apply the same requirements to everyone.

Turner did not issue a ruling yet, but he seemed doubtful about the state’s arguments, noting how the Iowa Supreme Court struck down a similar 72-hour waiting period law in 2018. He said if he rules in favor of the state, he would be rejecting the state Supreme Court’s ruling, according to the report.

In that ruling, the Iowa Supreme Court also “found” a so-called right to abortion in the Iowa Constitution – which makes it more difficult for pro-life laws to withstand legal challenges. Similar rulings in other states have been used to force taxpayers to fund abortions and restrict state legislatures from passing even minor, common sense abortion restrictions.

In February, the state Senate took steps to reverse the disastrous decision by passing a constitutional amendment to make it clear there is no right to abortion or to force taxpayers to fund abortions in Iowa. However, it takes multiple steps to pass a constitutional amendment, including voters’ approval.

Informed consent laws protect unborn babies from abortion, and the abortion industry knows it. Research indicates that when women see ultrasound images of their unborn babies, they are more likely to choose life. A 2017 study out of the University of California San Francisco also suggests that some women do change their minds about abortion as a result of informed consent laws.

A majority of states require a waiting period prior to an abortion and 35 require informed consent counseling, which typically includes facts about an unborn baby’s development, the risks of abortion and alternatives to abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute.