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Clearing up confusion after the Iowa Supreme Court's abortion ruling

Last Friday, the Iowa Supreme Court voted to overturn the 2018 decision that allowed Iowans' fundamental right to abortion.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Last Friday, the 2018 decision establishing Iowans' fundamental right to abortion was overturned by the Iowa Supreme Court

Now, many are looking for clarity about what other abortion laws could be changing soon.

The 24-hour waiting period abortion law is among those in question. First signed into law in 2020, the bill made a day-long waiting period mandatory for any Iowan seeking an abortion. 

The law was ruled unconstitutional in 2021 and has not been in effect due to a permanent injunction.

With previous decisions overturned and a looming Roe V. Wade decision overhead, Iowans are asking the question: Is the 24-hour waiting period on abortions now applicable?

Iowa Supreme Court Spokesperson Lynn Hicks explained the court procedure behind the uncertainty. 

Hicks said the Iowa Supreme Court ruling is not considered final until procedendo issues — essentially, everything will remain the same for Iowans until the case moves from the Supreme Court to the District Court. 

This will happen 21 days after the ruling, on July 8. 

After the ruling, Planned Parenthood North Central States officials had said the organization would immediately implement the waiting period as recommended by its legal council, the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa.

Emily Bisek, the organization's vice president for communications, said despite the attorney general's belief that the waiting period wasn't required yet, it would stick by its waiting period decision.

According to the Iowa Attorney General's Office, the Iowa Board of Medicine is in charge of enforcing the 24-hour waiting period. Local 5 has reached out to the board

Veronica Fowler with the ACLU of Iowa is currently representing Planned Parenthood. Fowler commended the statements made by the Iowa Attorney General.

"We're glad that the Attorney General's Office has said that the state will not enforce the law before it goes back to District Court, which is likely in July. Right now Planned Parenthood is evaluating the best way to serve its patients during this period of time," Fowler said.

According to experts, nothing will be changing legally until July.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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