Iowa House lawmakers approved a budget plan Wednesday that would defund Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups, the Quad-City Times reports.
The budget plan, which now moves to the state Senate, coincides with state legislation to defund abortion groups. The bill would end state participation in a federal family planning program and create a new state-funded program for health care groups that do not do abortions. Money to fund the program would come from a federal block grant for child and family services.
The Courier reports Planned Parenthood of the Heartland in Iowa received about $1 million taxpayer dollars through Medicaid in 2016.
Here’s more from the Des Moines Register:
According to the Iowa Legislative Services Agency, there were 12,219 people participating in the existing family planning program in December 2016. The new program is expected to have about the same annual funding level as the existing program — about $3.4 million, although the sources of funding will be different. The program is considered to be a form of limited insurance coverage for low-income Iowans.
Several pro-abortion lawmakers complained about defunding Planned Parenthood before the vote this week.
Iowa state Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, a Democrat, accused Republicans of playing politics with Iowans’ health care, according to the Times.
“Patients, not politicians, should decide how and where they receive their medical care,” Wessel-Kroeschell said. “Stop playing politics with the health of Iowans, stop the ideological train and fund the programs that are important to Iowa’s most vulnerable citizens.”
The defunding measure is expected to pass the legislature. Gov. Terry Branstad previously said he supports legislation to defund abortion groups.
State Sen. Amy Sinclair, R-Allerton, who sponsored the defunding bill, previously said the legislation could improve access to health care for rural women and families.
“There are zero Planned Parenthood clinics in [her local district],” she noted. “And I would suggest that is true for many other rural Senate districts as well. So anyone in my district would have to drive to one of those clinics, all located in urban areas, to access care for their needs under the current system.”
Iowans for LIFE also supports the bill, saying it will provide Iowa women with better options for their health care needs.
Planned Parenthood facilities offer only limited services. They do not do mammograms, and very few offer prenatal care. Abortion, however, is big business for Planned Parenthood. Nationally, the group does about 320,000 abortions a year, about one third of all the abortions in the U.S.
“The bill will not leave women unable to find quality health care and in fact will offer them more choices,” according an email from the pro-life group. “As these mothers know, all women, including low income women, deserve a health care center that offers all their health care needs.”
Federal lawmakers also announced new plans this week to defund Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups. The Planned Parenthood abortion chain currently receives about half a billion taxpayer dollars each year.
As LifeNews.com reported, President Donald Trump made an offer to the Planned Parenthood abortion company to increase its taxpayer funding if it would stop killing babies in abortions and focus on legitimate non-abortion healthcare. But Planned Parenthood said no.