Iowa governor opts not to appeal fetal heartbeat law ruling

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Kim Reynolds says she has decided not to appeal an Iowa judge's ruling last month that struck down Iowa's "fetal heartbeat" abortion law, which would have been the most restrictive anti-abortion law in the nation.

Reynolds says it was "an extremely difficult decision" but is the right one for the state and for those who oppose abortion. They had hoped the law posed the legal challenge that would get to the U.S. Supreme Court and possibly overturn the longstanding case that legalized abortion nationwide.

However, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa challenged the law on state constitutional grounds only foreclosing an appeal to the federal courts.

Judge Michael Huppert said last month that prohibiting abortions at the detection of a fetal heartbeat violates due process and equal protection provisions of the Iowa Constitution based on previous Iowa Supreme Court rulings.

The law would have banned an abortion once a fetal heartbeat was detected. That can happen as early as six weeks into pregnancy.

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