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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Iowa abortion providers sue governor over coronavirus order

The lawsuit filed in state court says abortions will be delayed and in some cases denied, forcing women to carry pregnancies to term.
Credit: AP
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announces updates on COVID-19 at the State Emergency Operations Center in Johnston, Iowa on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. The state counted its first death from COVID-19 in Dubuque County as of Tuesday. (Olivia Sun/The Des Moines Register via AP, Pool)

DES MOINES, Iowa — Abortion providers, with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, are suing Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds for suspending abortion procedures as part of her order to halt elective and non-emergency medical procedures.

The ACLU and Planned Parenthood Federation of America, on behalf of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, and along with the Emma Goldman Clinic filed the lawsuit on Monday.

The lawsuit filed in state court says abortions will be delayed and in some cases denied, forcing women to carry pregnancies to term, resulting in a deprivation of their fundamental right to determine whether to have a child.

A press release from the ACLU of Iowa said the lawsuit is in response to Reynolds' Proclamation of Disaster Emergency for COVID-19 and her statement published in the Des Moines Register on Friday, March 27.

The release said that experts, like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, agree that abortion is an "essential, time-sensitive procedure" that cannot be delayed. 

Reynolds, an abortion opponent, said the move was not based on her personal ideology but a broad order to conserve medical equipment like ventilators and surgical masks.

"Governor Reynolds is focused on protecting Iowans from an unprecedented public health disaster, and she suspended all elective surgeries and procedures to preserve Iowa's health care resources," said a statement from the Office of the Governor.

"As the governor has said over and over, Iowans are in this together. We will be working in consultation with the Attorney General's Office to defend the actions she's taken," the statement read.

RELATED: Gov. Reynolds' medical procedures order halts abortions, pro-choice groups speak out

RELATED: WATCH LIVE: Gov. Reynolds holds press conference on COVID-19 in Iowa