BELMOND — Governor Kim Reynolds says she has to pursue legal options on two abortion-related laws that were challenged in court before deciding whether to call legislators back in special session to pass abortion restrictions.

“Right now it wouldn’t do any good to call a special session,” Reynolds said Wednesday. “This is the route that we need to take. We’ve got two laws in place and so we’re going to move forward with that. We’ll wait to see what the ruling is…and then we’ll reassess after that point.”

Reynolds signed a bill into law in 2018 that would forbid abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually the sixth week of a pregnancy, but it never took effect due to a court injunction. She’s asking the courts to remove that block.

“We have the ‘heartbeat bill’ on the books and so let’s lift the injunction and let’s make that, you know, a law that it is and so we’re going to start with that,” Reynolds said. “We’re going to ask the Supreme Court to rehear the case and we’re also going to ask the district court to lift the injunction and we’ll take it from there.”

Reynolds faced a Friday deadline to file her requests with the court. She’s asking the Iowa Supreme Court to revise its recent ruling that upheld a 24-week waiting period for abortions. Reynolds is making the legal argument that the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that overturned Roe v Wade should make it more difficult to challenge Iowa laws that restrict abortion in the future.

“We’ll see what happens,” Reynolds said. “We’ll go through the system and, based on what the outcomes are from that, we’ll take our next steps.”

Reynolds, who spoke with reporters in Belmond Wednesday before a meeting in the community’s hospital, said the timeline for resolving her legal requests on abortion policy is up to the court.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller has declined to represent the state in these matters. The governor has hired former Muscatine County Attorney Alan Ostergren to argue the cases. Ostergren most recently represented Republicans challenging Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Abby Finkenauer’s nominating petitions.


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