THE Iowa Supreme Court on Friday struck down a law requiring a 72-hour waiting period for women seeking an abortion.
The court ruled that the restriction was unconstitutional and that “autonomy and dominion over one’s body go to the very heart of what it means to be free.”
Justices noted that the waiting period could force delays, increase costs and in some cases prevent a woman from legally obtaining an abortion. The court’s 5-2 decision said the mandatory delay violated the Iowa Constitution because the restrictions on women weren’t “narrowly tailored to serve a compelling interest of the state.”
“At stake in this case is the right to shape, for oneself, without unwarranted governmental intrusion, one’s own identity, destiny, and place in the world. Nothing could be more fundamental to the notion of liberty,” the justices wrote.
The ruling comes in a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood of Iowa and the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, which sued the state shortly after the law was approved last year. The groups argued that a woman’s right to an abortion was among the core privacy rights protected by the Iowa Constitution and federal law.