Iowa House lawmakers passed a budget Wednesday that would take away taxpayer funding from abortion groups like Planned Parenthood.
The Associated Press reports the state House voted 56-42 to approve the spending measure, but it is likely to face an uphill battle in the Democrat-controlled state Senate. Gov. Terry Branstad supports the abortion defunding effort, but he has not said whether he would sign a budget if it does include funds for abortion groups.
The effort to defund abortion groups comes in response to a series of undercover videos showing the Planned Parenthood abortion business selling aborted babies’ body parts. Since the undercover videos revealed shocking and potentially illegal activity at Planned Parenthood, a number of states have introduced measures to end taxpayer funding to it and other abortion groups.
In an email, Iowa Right to Life announced the victory in the House and encouraged people to contact their state Senators about the budget.
“Thank you to everyone who spoke out! The Iowa House just defunded the abortion industry!” the email read.
The group said it collected more than 14,000 signatures from Iowans who want to end taxpayer funding to abortion groups. It also pointed to a recent report that Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, the affiliate in Iowa and Nebraska, was caught illegally using taxpayer funds for abortions in Nebraska.
During a budget debate on Tuesday that lasted long into the night, pro-life lawmakers in the Iowa House fought for a budget that would prohibit tax dollars from going to abortion groups in the state, the Globe Gazette reports. They introduced a similar budget last year, but it failed to pass, the report states.
Here are more details from the report:
Opposed by most Democrats, including those in control of the Iowa Senate, last year’s measure was removed during cross-chamber budget negotiations.
Rep. Sandy Salmon, R-Janesville, one of the House’s most fervent anti-abortion advocates, said Tuesday night that the state should fund health care providers “without depending on the few abortionists in the state.”
Salmon introduced an amendment that she said went a step further than the House bill in defunding providers that perform abortions, but after making remarks on the floor withdrew the amendment.
Democrats introduced an amendment to restore funding to all women’s health care providers, but it was defeated on a party-line vote.
As LifeNews previously reported, a public opinion poll that was conducted in Iowa shows that the majority of the state’s residents support de-funding Planned Parenthood and sending government funding to legitimate health care clinics instead. The survey was commissioned by the pro-life legal group Alliance Defending Freedom and found that 69 percent of Iowans agree that taxpayers should not subsidize groups like Planned Parenthood.
ACTION: Iowa residents are urged to contact their state Senator here and tell them not to send tax dollars to abortion groups.