Iowans should be able to access essential, time-sensitive surgical abortion services during the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

That's why we filed a lawsuit, along with the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, on behalf of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, and the Emma Goldman Clinic, against Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and other state officials, today.

The lawsuit is in response to Governor Reynolds’ Proclamation of Disaster Emergency for COVID-19, which she said prohibited surgical abortions. While health care providers across Iowa are working tirelessly to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and care for patients suffering from COVID-19, Governor Reynolds is focused on advancing her political agenda and interfering in medical decisions that should be left to patients and their doctors.

Experts, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, agree that abortion is an essential, time-sensitive procedure that cannot be delayed. Patients who face delays or additional barriers can find it difficult or even impossible to access safe, legal abortion. 

The lawsuit, filed in Johnson County District Court, asks the court to block the Governor’s Proclamation as it applies to abortions.

We believe that the state’s singling out of abortion during a public health crisis is profoundly harmful to Iowa women. The state has tried numerous times to ban abortion or make it more difficult and costly to obtain. Like this proclamation, all its efforts have been completely unjustified medically and have been blocked by the courts as unconstitutional. This is the worst time for the state to try again.

The legal documents filed in the case will be available online here.