By Dave Andrusko
A bill to reallocate state taxpayer funding away from Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers to federally qualified health centers and family planning organizations who do not provide abortion services passed a House subcommittee in Iowa on Monday.
Senate File 2 now moves to the House Human Resources Committee where it is likely to pass before moving onto the full House where it is also expected to pass.
Last week the Senate voted in favor of SF2 by a vote of 30-20, with all Republicans in support and all Democrats in opposition.
“Gov. Terry Branstad proposed similar legislation in his annual Condition of the State Address last month, and there is no doubt he will sign it if the House votes for final passage,” according to William Petroski of the Des Moines Register.
Senate File 2 would discontinue a federal Medicaid waiver on July 1 that provides millions of dollars in funding to family planning providers across the state,” reported Rod Boshart. The bill “would create a new state-funded program that would exclude facilities that provide abortions from receiving the funds. To cover the new program, the state would shift money from a federal block grant that pays for child and family services”
For over an hour the three-member subcommittee heard from 23 witnesses, for and against SF2. Opponents, such as Erin Davison-Rippey, an official with Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, said the bill “will be devastating to low-income women in Iowa.”
Supporters countered that “women will have access to 221 clinics statewide that will expand coverage to rural women who must now make long drives to urban areas for family planning services,” Petroski reported.
In the past similar measures have passed the House but have been derailed in the Senate, controlled by Democrats. But as NRL News Today wrote following the November elections, due to the work of Iowa Right to Life’s PAC, pro-lifers won 17 of 19 state Senate races and 42 of 62 state House races!
Pro-life Republicans now control both houses and the governor’s office.
As Petrowski explained in another article the measure is fulfilling a promise.
Many Iowa Republicans seeking election last fall promised voters they would halt public funding to Planned Parenthood if they were elected. GOP lawmakers have repeatedly tried in recent years to block the appropriation of money for Planned Parenthood, but they had been stymied by Senate Democrats who held a majority. That political barrier was removed in November when Republicans won control of the Senate by ousting six Democratic incumbents while retaining a majority in the Iowa House.