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Constitutional Rights and the Public’s Health

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, Inc. v. Iowa


Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, Inc. v. Iowa (Supreme Court of Iowa, June 17, 2022): The Iowa Supreme Court held that the Iowa Constitution does not provide a fundamental right to abortion. State law required patients seeking abortion services to attend two appointments and wait 24 hours after an ultrasound before receiving the procedure. Planned Parenthood challenged the law as unconstitutional under a 2018 Iowa Supreme Court case holding that abortion was a fundamental right under Iowa’s Constitution. A state court agreed and dismissed the lawsuit. The Iowa Supreme Court, however, reversed its 2018 decision, holding that the Iowa Constitution is “not the source of a fundamental right to an abortion.” The supreme court also held that the right to an abortion does not necessitate a strict scrutiny standard of review (e.g., requiring that a law be narrowly tailored to achieve a compelling government interest) but did not clarify which level of scrutiny was applicable. Read the full decision here.

View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – July 18, 2022 

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