IOWA, USA — Iowa and the United States are reacting to a leaked U.S. Supreme Court opinion draft suggesting Roe v. Wade could be overturned.
Some states — such as North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and Arkansas — have "trigger bans" in place: laws that would allow abortion bans to go into effect immediately after Roe v. Wade is overturned.
Local 5 is answering some of the top questions surrounding the topic. Have a question you want answered? Send us a text at 515-457-1026 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What happened at the Supreme Court?
A drafted U.S. Supreme Court opinion published by Politico Monday night indicates the justices' consideration of overturning the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortions in the country.
The high court on Tuesday confirmed the authenticity of the draft, but stated it was just that: not a final decision.
“Although the document described in yesterday’s reports is authentic, it does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case," Chief Justice John Roberts said in a statement.
What is Iowa law?
State lawmakers in 2017 passed a bill banning abortions past 20 weeks and requiring a 72-hour waiting period before a person gets an abortion.
In 2018, the Iowa Supreme Court struck down the waiting period while leaving the 20-week ban in place.
In 2021, the Iowa Legislature took the first step forward in amending the state's constitution to remove abortion protections. The House and Senate passed it in 2021, but they are required to pass the same language a second time in either 2023 or 2024 before it can go on a November 2024 ballot for voters to decide.
"The statewide vote will take a lot of a lot of work on both sides," Drake University Law Professor Sally Frank told Local 5 previously. "Very conservative states have rejected such constitutional amendments."
According to Planned Parenthood North Central States President and CEO Sarah Stoesz, if Roe V. Wade is overturned, it would not impact Iowa immediately.
"In Iowa there is a constitutional right to abortion for now on the books in Iowa. There's nothing on the books in Iowa that would cause our centers to shut down should Roe be overturned," Stoesz said. "That's for today, of course, we don't know what politics will bring."
Could Iowa's law change?
State lawmakers in recent years have passed legislation seeking to restrict access to abortions, each of which has been challenged in court.
The Iowa Supreme Court ruled in 2018 that a 2017 state law requiring a 72-hour wait period before getting an abortion goes against the Iowa Constitution.
Chief Justice Mark Cady wrote:
“…We conclude the statute enacted by our legislature, while intended as a reasonable regulation, violates both the due process and equal protection clauses of the Iowa Constitution because its restrictions on women are not narrowly tailored to serve a compelling interest of the state."
A Polk County district judge in 2019 struck down Iowa’s fetal heartbeat law that would have banned a woman from obtaining an abortion as soon as a baby’s heartbeat is detected.
Iowa Republicans then in 2020 passed a bill instituting a 24-hour wait period before someone could get an abortion.
That was struck down in 2021 by a district court, with Judge Mitchell Turner of Johnson County writing:
"The Court finds the Amendment was clearly logrolled with other legislation, since the Amendment was attached to a non-controversial provision regarding withdrawal of life-sustaining procedures from a minor child."
Dozens of state Republican legislators petitioned the Iowa Supreme Court this year to reverse their 2018 decision.
The Iowa Supreme Court heard arguments in February seeking to overturn the 2018 ruling. That came as the state's highest court shifted to a composition of six justices nominated by Gov. Kim Reynolds.
TEGNA and The Associated Press contributed to this report