The writing was on the wall after their last abortion related decision to, without dissent, throw out Iowa’s legislative attempt to ban dangerous web-cam abortions. Their five to two decision yesterday throwing out Iowa’s 72 hour waiting period legislation used language that press reports indicate affirms a right to abortion in the Iowa Constitution. This Des Moines Register article seems “straight” and it does provide an active window giving the entire 92 page decision.
The only worthy part of the decision is the dissent of Justice Mansfield who did not vote in the Web cam decision. Why Mansfield did not vote then is not clear to us but Waterman was part of the unanimous decision on that one. As reported by the DMR:
Justices Edward Mansfield and Thomas Waterman dissented.
Mansfield, who is currently being considered by President Trump for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, noted in his dissent that abortion used to be illegal in Iowa. That changed in 1973, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the Roe v. Wade that women have a right to abortion. Mansfield wrote that it’s difficult to see how a limit on abortion could violate the Iowa Constitution if a ban on abortion had been considered legal under that same document for more than a century.
Outside of Iowa:How does Iowa’s abortion law compare to other states?
Mansfield also noted that Iowa law imposes waiting periods for other important life decisions. “We have a three day waiting period for marriage. There is a 72-hour waiting period after birth for adoption. There is a 90-day waiting period for divorce,” he wrote. “No one can reasonably question the legislature’s power to impose these waiting periods before Iowans begin or end a marriage or give up a newborn baby for adoption. So why can’t the legislature impose a waiting period before an abortion?”
We will evaluate commentaries on the decision in coming days, especially what it means for existing state regulations which will now undergo challenge by the usual suspects in light of this ruling. The politics of this is important as well and will be discussed. It is truly a sad day for life in Iowa. The delusional /illusional view that Iowa’s Heartbeat Bill has / ever had any hope will be addressed as well.
One thing is certain, Iowa’s miserable Missouri Plan of justice selection, confirmation and retention must be dealt with.