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Iowa Abortion Laws

Abortion is legal under federal law, but states are free to construct their abortion laws in different ways to regulate access, timing, waiting periods, notice, and consent surrounding the procedure. These statutes can vary state to state, and they can be difficult to understand, so it is important to know which statutes apply to where you live. This is an introduction abortion laws in Iowa.

Iowa Statutes

Iowa has no mandatory waiting period before someone may get a legal abortion, but does require one parent or guardian to be notified beforehand if the person in question is a minor. Iowa also does not require pre-procedure counseling or ultrasounds, which are mandatory in some other states. The chart below lists the details of Iowa's abortion statutes.

Code Section

Iowa Code 707.7, et seq.: Feticide;

Iowa Code 707.8A: Partial Birth Abortion Prohibited (found unconstitutional, Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa, Inc. v. Miller, 195 F. 3rd 386 (1999))

Statutory Definition of Illegal Abortion

"Feticide": Intentional termination of human pregnancy after end of second trimester.

"Abortion": Termination of a human pregnancy with the intent other than to produce a live birth or remove a dead fetus.

"Partial Birth Equivalent": A person who intentionally kills a viable fetus aborted alive shall be guilty of a Class B felony.

Statutory Definition of Legal Abortion

Necessary to preserve life or health of mother or fetus; after end of second trimester with every reasonable effort made to preserve life of viable fetus

Penalty for Unlawful Abortion

Class C felony (attempted feticide-Class D felony)

Consent Requirements


Residency Requirements for Patients


Physician Licensing Requirements

Licensed M.D.

The Supreme Court deemed the right to a legal abortion was protected under the Constitution (within certain limits) in Roe v. Wade in 1973, but that decision only seemed to intensify the national debate surrounding abortion. Since then, abortion in the United States has been legal and women have had the right to choose to end a pregnancy during the first trimester, but states are allowed to regulate certain aspects of abortion. State abortion laws have continued to evolve over the years, including the imposition of waiting periods, counseling, required sonograms, and other requirements.

Iowa Abortion Laws: Related Resources

Deciding whether or not to get an abortion can be emotionally complicated, and legally as well. You can find additional articles and resources in FindLaw's sections on Abortion, Birth Control, and Health Care Law. You can also consult with an Iowa health care attorney if you would like legal advice regarding an abortion issue.

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