Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, the ACLU of Iowa strives to ensure that our government respects and supports reproductive rights for all.

Fighting against a constitutional amendment to ban abortion

We are mobilizing volunteers across the state to fight against a constitutional amendment to ban abortion. The Iowa Legislature started the multi-year process in 2020. Read more.

Challenging a new six-week abortion ban

In a special session in 2023, the Iowa Legislature passed a new six-week abortion ban. We immediately filed a lawsuit to challenge it. Learn more.

Urged the State of Iowa to cover emergency contraception for sexual assault victims again

We wrote an opinion piece that was published in the Des Moines Register calling out Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird for pausing her office's practice of paying for emergency contraception, and in rare cases abortions, for victims of sexual assault. Read it here.

Challenged the so-called “24-hour waiting period” law

We challenged extensively the so-called “24-hour waiting period law,” passed by the Iowa Legislature passed without public input in the middle of the night. The law requires Iowans to make a second, unnecessary medical appointment at least 24 hours after the initial appointment. It causes excessive hardship for all Iowans, but especially those who must take time off work or school, arrange and pay for child care, and drive hours to get this necessary health care. Details here.

Fighting for sex education funding

We filed a lawsuit on behalf of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland to block a law excluding it from receiving crucial funding to provide sex education for youth in Iowa. Find out more.

Successfully blocked a 6-week abortion ban

Along with Planned Parenthood, we successfully challenged one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country in 2018. The law would have prohibited most abortions as soon as any embryonic cardiac activity was detected, usually around 6 weeks. Read more.

Secured a historic win at the Iowa Supreme Court for reproductive freedom

We challenged an Iowa law that would have required Iowans seeking an abortion to make a second, medically unnecessary clinic visit and then to wait at least 72 hours more hours after that visit to actually receive services. It was a critically important case for our state, with the Iowa Supreme Court recognizing that “autonomy and dominion over one’s body go to the very heart of what it means to be free.” Find out more.

Defending access to telemedicine abortions

We helped assure that Iowans could continue to use telemedicine to communicate with their doctors to get medication that would induce an abortion. Read more.

Blocking efforts to deny Medicaid abortions for rape, incest, and fetal anomaly

In 2012, we successfully advocated with Planned Parenthood to block efforts to deny Medicaid funding for abortions in the case of rape, incest, and severe fetal anomaly. Find out more.

Working for a ban on shackling pregnant women in prison

We successfully worked to change the Iowa Department of Corrections policy of shackling pregnant women during pregnancy and right before and after labor. Now, most incarcerated women will not be shackled after 22 weeks of pregnancy. But legislation is still needed to protect women in a full range of conditions related to their pregnancies. Read more.