An Iowa Senate committee moved forward Tuesday with legislation to defund the abortion business Planned Parenthood.
The bill, Senate File 2, will reallocate government funding from abortion providers to health care centers that offer a full range of comprehensive care to women and men, without doing abortions. The bill passed the committee in an 8-5 vote; the state Senate is scheduled to vote on the bill Thursday.
Iowans for LIFE Director Maggie DeWitte joined mothers and children at the Senate meeting Tuesday to encourage the lawmakers to make a choice for life.
“The bill will not leave women unable to find quality health care and in fact will offer them more choices,” according an email from Iowans for LIFE. “As these mothers know, all women, including low income women, deserve a health care center that offers all their health care needs.”
The Courier reports Planned Parenthood of the Heartland in Iowa received about $1 million taxpayer dollars through Medicaid in 2016.
To defund abortion groups, the bill would stop state participation in the Medicaid family planning program and create a new state-funded program that would fund health care groups but exclude abortion providers, according to the report. Money to fund the program would come from a federal block grant for child and family services, the report states.
Both pro-lifers and abortion advocates rallied on Tuesday at the Iowa Capitol as the committee debated the bill.
Here’s more from the Associated Press:
Sen. Amy Sinclair, a Republican member of the committee, emphasized the bill would redistribute money to rural health clinics that offer family planning services.
“Please note women will not go without exams or care or screenings,” she said. “They’ll just be able to receive those services right where they live and in conjunction with their broader health care needs.”
Sinclair, a co-sponsor of the bill, said she also received a lot of calls and letters about her bill, including some nasty ones.
“Many Iowans have brought questions to me and concerns, and I have considered them all,” she said. “Even the ones that called me names, shamed me and told me I have a special place in hell.”
She said the bill 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 is asking pro-lifers to contact their state legislators to ask them to support the bill.
“These courageous Senators and Representatives are working hard for life and we need to show our support,” the group said in an email.