Gov. Reynolds announces legal action following Supreme Court decision

FILE - Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds delivers her Condition of the State address before a joint...
FILE - Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds delivers her Condition of the State address before a joint session of the Iowa Legislature, on Jan. 11, 2022, at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa. Iowa legislators on Wednesday, March 2, 2022, gave final approval to a bill that would prohibit transgender females from participating in girls high school sports and women's college athletics, sending a divisive bill likely to draw legal challenges to the governor. Reynolds last year lobbied lawmakers to pass a similar measure but it failed to advance. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)(Charlie Neibergall | AP)
Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 3:02 PM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) - On Tuesday, Governor Kim Reynolds and legislative leaders announced two planned legal actions following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that the Constitution does not confer any right to abortion.

First, Governor Reynolds will urge the Iowa Supreme Court to rehear Planned Parenthood v. Reynolds. Second, she will request that the Iowa courts lift the injunction against the enforcement of Iowa’s fetal heartbeat law.

“Now is the time for us to stand up and continue the fight to protect the unborn,” said. Gov. Reynolds. “The Supreme Court’s historic decision reaffirms that states have the right to protect the innocent and defenseless unborn—and now it’s time for our state to do just that. As governor, I will do whatever it takes to defend the most important freedom there is: the right to life.”

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced that he will not participate in the governor’s actions stating:

“Our office is withdrawing from the case involving the 24-hour waiting period, or House File 594, for ethical reasons. I have made many clear public statements supporting Roe v. Wade and the rationale that underlies it. Those statements would be inconsistent with what the state would argue in court.

I support the undue burden standard that the U.S. Supreme Court set forth in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The 24-hour case has now moved to a point in which I doubt that I can zealously assert the state’s position. The question now before the Iowa Supreme Court is whether the rational basis test should apply to abortion regulations. I believe that standard would have a detrimental impact on women’s reproductive rights, health care, and our society. Therefore, I am disqualifying myself pursuant to Iowa Code section 13.3.

This decision is consistent with my disqualification in the fetal heartbeat case in 2018. In that case, I stated that I could not zealously assert the state’s position because of my core belief that the statute, if upheld, would undermine rights and protections for women. In my nearly 40 years in office, I have declined to represent the state in only one other similar situation. I do not take lightly my responsibility to represent the state.”

Governor Reynolds stated that she is retaining Alliance Defending Freedom and Iowa attorney Alan Ostergren, President and Chief Counsel of the Kirkwood Institute, to represent the State in Miller’s absence.

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