Judge declares Iowa fetal heartbeat abortion law unconstitutional

DES MOINES — A state judge has struck down Iowa’s restrictive “fetal heartbeat” abortion law.

Judge Michael Huppert on Tuesday found the law unconstitutional. He concluded that the law passed last year ran afoul of the Iowa Supreme Court’s earlier decisions that affirm a woman’s fundamental right to an abortion.

The law would ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected. That can happen as early as six weeks into pregnancy. It would have been the most restrictive anti-abortion law in the nation. But the legal challenge by abortion providers Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and the Emma Goldman Clinic had halted it from taking effect last July.

Supporters of the law are likely to ask the Iowa Supreme Court to hear an appeal of Huppert’s ruling.

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