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Planned Parenthood sues Iowa because women have to wait too long to get an abortion

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland is suing the state of Iowa over two pieces of legislation that require women to wait 72 hours and undergo medical consultations before pursuing an abortion. (2015 file photo/Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Planned Parenthood is suing the state of Iowa over two laws requiring women to wait 72 hours and undergo two medical consultations before pursuing an abortion.

The nation’s leading abortion provider took the issue to court Monday, arguing that both the three-day waiting period and the consultation requirement infringe on a woman’s right to choose, WHO-TV reported.

“A lot of patients were very angered on why someone could decide this type of thing for them,” Jason Reynolds, an abortion clinic manager, told the news outlet. “Other patients were very upset because they had already made this decision.”

The legislation requiring the 72-hour waiting period was signed into law by then-Gov. Terry Branstad (R) earlier this year, but it was lifted in May, when the Iowa Supreme Court issued a temporary injunction at the request of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, according to USA Today. Now Planned Parenthood is suing to have the policy removed entirely from the law.

But it’s the two mandated medical consultations before an abortion that are the “most troubling part” of the law, Planned Parenthood director Jill Meadow said Monday. It will cause women to take on “financial and medical burdens” that they could otherwise avoid, she argued.

Daniel Grossman, a physician at the University of California, San Francisco, said that, if the law remains in place, “women will be delayed in the process of seeking an abortion.”

The state, though, thinks the waiting period is beneficial.

The defense for the state asserted that the waiting period is necessary because it ensures women have the time to be certain an abortion is the right decision. Also, the consultations educate women about what exactly the abortion process includes.

As it stands right now, 27 states in the U.S. have mandatory waiting periods, ranging from 24 to 72 hours.

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