Groups ask Iowa judge to rule against heartbeat abortion law

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Lawyers for two abortion providers have asked an Iowa judge to forgo a trial and rule that the state’s fetal heartbeat law is unconstitutional.

The Des Moines Register reports that lawyers for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and the Emma Goldman Clinic in Iowa City filed a motion Monday that cites the Iowa Supreme Court’s June decision to strike down a 72-hour waiting period to obtain an abortion. The high court said the state’s women have a fundamental right to abortion protected by the state constitution.

The fetal heartbeat law would ban nearly all abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can occur about six weeks into a pregnancy and often before a woman realizes she’s pregnant. The law hasn’t taken effect, pending the litigation’s outcome.

Lawyers representing the state have not yet responded to the motion filed Monday. Nor has the judge indicated when he will rule on it.

Related: Iowa court blocks 72-hour waiting period for abortion

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