Two women who have changed their mind on one of our country’s most contentious issues.
Jodi Long Reports…Wednesday on Channel 13 News at 10
DES MOINES, Iowa — The Health and Human Services (HHS) Budget Bill passed through both the Iowa House and Senate at the very end of the legislative session, and parts of the bill are raising concerns for some groups.
Representatives at Planned Parenthood said, if signed into law, this bill would block them from receiving grants to teach sex education in schools and communities around the state.
“We’re delivering the same services that other providers are delivering. These are all age appropriate, medically accurate sex education that is generally provided in school settings to young people, sometimes community settings as well depending on the grant,” Planned Parenthood of the Heartland Director of Public Affairs Erin Davison-Rippey said.
Rep. Joel Fry, a Republican from Osceola, said in a statement, “The HHS budget will continue to provide grants to organizations that provide Iowa students with sex education. We are continuing to provide the same level of funding as we have in the past, however, abortion providers will no longer be eligible for grants. We have consistently heard from Iowans that they do not want their hard-earned tax dollars used by organizations whose primary business model is providing abortions.”
Davison-Rippey said that as one of the largest providers of sex education in the state, if they are not able to provide these education services, both small and large communities could suffer.
“So, these are programs that would be intended to start in the fall, with young people in school. That may not happen because everything will have to be completely re-done. They’re going to have to try to find new providers to compete for these grants, and it really could put a wrench in the entire system. So we could see impacts to sex education across the board beyond even those folks that are getting services from us,” Davison-Rippey said.
Sen. Jake Chapman, a Republican from Adel, denies that, “It excludes any organization from accessing taxpayer money who also performs abortions. In no way will this amendment harm, reduce, or eliminate sexual education training currently being offered.”
Davison-Rippey said they are not convinced other providers will step up to fill the void if this budget bill becomes law.
“Right now folks could be competing for these grants and they are not. There are a number of communities where we are the only applicant for these funds. So providers could already have the opportunity to compete for those funds and have not. And if we look back at what happened to the state family planning program, where folks use this same argument to say, ‘Oh no, it will be fine. There will be other people that will step up.’ That has not happened,” Davison-Rippey said.
The bill is currently on Gov. Kim Reynold’s desk, awaiting action.
DES MOINES, Iowa — The legislative session is nearly over. Lawmakers worked a full day on Friday and approved a measure that could end up in court.
Senate Republicans are again taking aim at Planned Parenthood and trying to cut off some federal funding. The controversial measure is now headed to the House.
The amendment not only takes a swing at Planned Parenthood but also at the Department of Health and Human Services’ budget and transgender Iowans.
“I have to live as a transgender woman every day,” Shea Daniels said.
The amendment will take away some medical services for people like Daniels.
“It makes me feel extremely disappointed in the legislature,” Daniels said.
Senate Republican Jacob Chapman, of Dallas County, supports the amendment.
Chapman wants to ban Medicaid from covering gender reassignment surgery.
“I think Iowans feel very strongly that, again, their taxpayer money should not be going to these types of surgeries,” said Chapman.
“Those are the most marginalized people and the most at-risk people in our community, and it’s our duty as Iowans to take care of those folks,” Daniels said.
The amendment also bans Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and all other entities that provide abortion services from applying for two federal programs that fund sexual education in schools.
“I don’t believe that taxpayer money should be used to go towards any organization that provides abortion. This is an organization that by their own report has over 300,000 abortions last year,” Chapman said.
“Planned Parenthood will not rest in our mission until all Iowans can access high quality and accurate non-judgement education to be healthy now and into the future,” Erin Davison-Rippey with Planned Parenthood said,
The proposal will add to the $1.9 million in cuts to the Department of Health and Human Services.
The American Civil Liberties Union calls the language in this amendment unconstitutional but couldn’t say if legal ramifications are likely.