The lawsuit was filed in Polk County District Court by attorneys with the ACLU of Iowa and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America on behalf of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, Dr. Jill Meadows and the Emma Goldman Clinic of Iowa City. They say the state constitution, not the U.S. Constitution, guarantees a woman's right to abortion.
A lawsuit asking the court to block Iowa's newest abortion law has officially been filed.
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, a Democrat, said he would not defend the abortion ban because he believes it would undermine the rights of women, according to a letter from his office to Reynolds and four cabinet members. "In the 45 years since (Roe v. Wade), no federal or state court has upheld such a risky law".
"This abortion ban is beyond extreme", said Rita Bettis, ACLU of Iowa legal director.
A hearing on the temporary injunction is expected in the next few weeks.
The state's largest pro-life group, Iowa Right to Life, has called the bill's passage a major step forward in achieving legal protection for unborn children.
In 2015, the state's high court unanimously struck down rules enacted by the Iowa Board of Medicine that effectively banned the remote distribution of an abortion-inducing pill using a video conferencing system known as "telemedicine".
The legislation would require doctors to conduct an abdominal ultrasound to test for a fetal heartbeat.
Iowa's "heartbeat" bill was passed by the Iowa House, 51-46, and the state Senate passed the bill 29-17 in early May, sending it to Gov. Kim Reynolds (R), who has said abortion is "equivalent to murder".
The bill does not specify criminal or civil penalties for those breaking the law.
Thompson told reporters the new law would be an "almost-complete ban" on abortions, as only about 2 percent of the abortions at her clinic are performed at or before the sixth week of a pregnancy.
Separately, a new Iowa-based coalition of anti-abortion organizations was formed a year ago to renew efforts toward an abortion ban.
The Emma Goldman Clinic of Iowa City, an abortion provider, is also a co-plaintiff in the case.
The ACLU of Iowa argues that if the court upholds the 72-hour wait period as well as the six-week ban, women will be placed in a unsafe position where they are forced to either carry an unwanted pregnancy to term, obtain an abortion in another state or self-induce an abortion. "We will not back down until every person has the freedom and opportunity to make the health care decisions that are best for them and their families". The Iowa Supreme Court has yet to issue an opinion in that case.
Iowa is now in court defending a 2017 abortion law that imposes a 72-hour mandatory waiting period and an additional trip requirement for women seeking an abortion.