Anti-abortion advocates were particularly frustrated when Congress passed a spending bill earlier this year that left out a measure defunding Planned Parenthood after the GOP and Democrats negotiated a compromise to avoid a government shutdown. The lawsuit argues that the law violates the Iowa Constitution by banning almost all abortions and putting women's health at risk.
Pro-life lawmakers expected the legal challenge, and expressed hopes that the law eventually could lead to the reversal of Roe v. Wade.
Planned Parenthood has also announced it will hold in July its largest volunteer training event ever, bringing together 3,000 activists and leaders in Detroit to provide them various resources for going back into their communities to then build upon the organization's network, according to CNN.
Separately, a new Iowa-based coalition of anti-abortion organizations was formed a year ago to renew efforts toward an abortion ban.
"The pro-life movement in Iowa is unified for the first time in many years", said Maggie DeWitte, executive director of Iowans for Life, one of the coalition's groups.
Shortly after the announcement of the lawsuit, Iowa's longtime attorney general said he would not defend the law. The disqualification is based on the Attorney General's determination that he could not zealously assert the state's position because of his core belief that the statute, if upheld, would undermine rights and protections for women. The firm had no immediate comment.
The plan is to stop any organization that receives funding under the birth-control dispensing Title X Family Planning Program from either promoting abortion or being an abortion referral agency.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday upheld a lower court's ruling that allowed racketeering and other claims by Planned Parenthood against the Center for Medical Progress to proceed.
Iowa Republicans a year ago also gave up millions in federal dollars to create a state-funded family planning program that prohibits participation from abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood.
Signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds earlier this month, the law will require abortion practitioners to test for the unborn baby's heartbeat before performing an abortion. "That's the first and foremost priority", she said.