Category: Governor Kim Reynolds

ACLU, Planned Parenthood Suing State of Iowa Over Sex Education Funding Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa  —  The ACLU of Iowa and Planned Parenthood of the Heartland are taking the State of Iowa to court yet again to challenge another piece of legislation that targeted the healthcare provider’s funding.

Legislation signed into law by Governor Reynolds bars any group that provides legal abortions from receiving grants to provide sex education classes.  Planned Parenthood has taught sex education courses, using a state approved curriculum, for decades.  The ACLU says the legislation was tailored to target Planned Parenthood specifically and they say that is illegal.

In a lawsuit filed on Wednesday in Polk County, the ACLU asks that a judge block the new restrictions from taking place immediately.

Governor Reynolds’ office responded to the lawsuit with this statement:

“Governor Reynolds is 100% pro life and believes taxpayer dollars shouldn’t fund an organization that provides abortion.”
-Pat Garrett, Spokesman for the Governor’s Office

Planned Parenthood and the ACLU have been frequent opponents of the state under the Branstad and Reynolds administrations.  Most recently a judge threw out the state’s “Fetal Heartbeat Bill” after it was challenged in court.

Gov. Reynolds Signs Legislation Allowing Stun Guns on Iowa College Campuses

DES MOINES, Iowa – Gov. Kim Reynolds signed legislation into law Thursday that is designed to keep college students safer.

Starting July 1st, students at all of Iowa’s state universities will have the option of carrying a stun gun.

“At night time when you may be studying in the library really late and you may be walking home by yourself, it would be a great extra security blanket to have,” said Iowa State University student Lydia Dingeman.

The law says students are allowed to carry a stun gun at all state universities and community colleges, but the devices are still banned from university sports stadiums and hospitals.

ACLU of Iowa Files ‘Ag Gag 2.0’ Free Speech Lawsuit Against New Ag Trespass Law

DES MOINES, Iowa  —  The American Civil Liberties Union is taking the State of Iowa to court again to challenge a new law they say violates the First Amendment rights of animal rights advocates.

Senate File 519  created a new criminal offense of ‘Agricultural Production Facility Trespass’.  That law is violated if a person uses ‘deception’ to gain employment at an agriculture facility for the purposes of causing ‘physical or economical harm or injury’ to the facility.  The bill passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support; it was signed into law by Governor Kim Reynolds in March and took effect immediately.

Governor Reynolds and other supporters of the bill say it protects the state’s biggest industry from sabotage.  However the ACLU says this bill, like its predecessor that was struck down by a district court this year, violates the First Amendment and illegally silences whistleblowers.

The ACLU announced a lawsuit against the bill it labels ‘Ag Gag 2.0’ on Monday.  In a press release the ACLU says the law is governmental overreach.

“An especially grievous harm to our democracy occurs when the government uses the power of the criminal laws to target unpopular speech to protect those with power—which is exactly what this law is about,” ACLU of Iowa Legal Director Rita Bettis Austen writes, “The Ag Gag 2.0 law aims to silence critics of worker rights abuses, animal cruelty, unsafe food safety practices, and environmental hazards in agricultural facilities.”

A similar bill was passed into law in 2012 in Iowa.  After years of court challenges that bill was struck down in January by a Polk County judge.

The ACLU is joined by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, Bailing Out Benji, People for the Ethical Treat of Animals and the Center for Food Safety in the lawsuit.