Iowa’s Heartbeat law was the topic of a hearing Friday at the Polk County Courthouse. Judge Michael Huppert said he plans to take his time in deciding whether a trial regarding the constitutionality of the law is required.
Judge Huppert could rule in favor of Planned Parenthood and decide the law is unconstitutional without trial. In that event, pro-life advocates could appeal, but it’s unlikely an appeal would go anywhere considering the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision in June that said Iowa’s Constitution includes a “fundamental right” to an abortion.
Martin Cannon, the lawyer defending the law in court, said he’s hopeful Judge Huppert will allow the law to have its day at trial.
“He seems to be very cautious about being flippant here,” Cannon said at a gathering of pro-life activists hosted by The FAMiLY Leader after the hearing. “Most judges understand if you grant summary judgement, you might very well be reversed. If you don’t grant summary judgement and have a trial, there’s not really a downside. I have no idea how he thinks on the issue, but he’s been very pleasant to us and he’s been cautious. If nothing else, if he just takes the safe route, he denies Planned Parenthood’s motion.”
More than 100 pro-life activists stood in line waiting to enter the court room. The room’s posted capacity is 108. About 30 more pro-life activists were left waiting outside the room. The FAMiLY Leader hosted a debriefing after the hearing for supporters of the law.
Judge Huppert said he may take the full 60 days to decide on the matter.