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Nineteen Iowa law professors submitted a filing in support of abortion and Planned Parenthood in the case between Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and Dr. Jill Meadowns versus Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Board of Medicine.

At issue is a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion can be performed in Iowa. The district court ruled against the 24-hour waiting period.

In the filing, the professors proclaim their support of abortion.

“A woman’s right to choose to terminate a pregnancy is a fundamental liberty interests that cannot be extinguished without procedural and substantive due process of law,” the filing says. “Procedural and substantive due process require strict scrutiny be applied to any law attempting to limit or curtail this fundamental liberty interest, as this Court correctly held in Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.”

If the court overrules the district court, the filing states it would set a bad precedent because the ruling was issued just three years earlier and “it would be surprising if anything has changed that would justify” overruling the district court decision.

The Planned Parenthood of the Heartland decision remains a “vital part” of Iowa jurisprudence, the brief states.

“(The court) acknowledged and fortified a principle of equality between men and woman (sic) that is larger than the right to physical autonomy. Iowa woman (sic) have had the right to control their reproductive health since the United States Supreme Court decided Roe, and the women of this state have relied on that right for almost 50 years.”

There is concern overturning the decision would be to “vest complete freedom in the Iowa legislature to enact a stiff ban on abortions.”

“That would be a drastic change for women,” the brief states. “Leaving (the decision on the abortion question) to the state deprives pregnant women of moral agency — the distinctly human capacity to make moral judgments.”

The brief states that supplanting a woman’s moral judgment with the state’s would “affront women’s humanity.”

Here are the 19 individuals who signed the brief:

University of Iowa College of Law:

John S. Allen
Arthur E. Bonfield
Steven J. Burton
Jonathan C. Carlson
Bram Elias
Ann Laquer Estin
N. Williams Hines
Sheldon F. Kurtz
John C. Reitz
Leonard A. Sandler
Barbara A. Schwartz
Lea VanderVelde
John Whiston
Stella Burch Elias
Carolyn Jones

Drake University Law School:

Sally Frank
Mark S. Kendle
Maura Strassberg
David S. Walker

Author: Jacob Hall