Iowa Senate passes bill to stop Medicaid funds from going to Planned Parenthood

The defunding measure, which passed 30-20 in the state Senate, next goes to the Iowa House and the governor for approval.
Fri Feb 3, 2017 - 9:22 am EST
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Iowa's State Capitol

February 3, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The Republican-controlled Iowa State Senate passed a bill Thursday that slashes Medicaid funding to abortion and “family planning services" provided by Planned Parenthood and other clinics that facilitate the termination of preborn life.

Senate File 2 was approved by a 30-20 vote after two hours of debate. Senators voted on party lines, with one independent — a former Republican — in favor of the bill.

Indianola Republican Julian Garrett said voters who elected Republican candidates in November “sent a message” that ultimately led to the favorable vote for the bill.

“They, up and down the line in most districts, elected pro-life candidates,” Garrett said. “… I don’t know of any Republican candidate that isn’t pro-life.”

Iowa Senate Democrats, however, claimed the bill would “gut” so-called family planning services in the state.

“I’ve never seen such a horrible bill come before this body. This bill is taking us back to the Middle Ages,” Democrat Matt McCoy of Des Moines said as lawmakers debated the bill.

Planned Parenthood also denounced the bill in a statement.

"The Republican lawmakers who continue to advance this bill should be ashamed of themselves. They are playing political games, with the lives of low-income Iowans at stake," the abortion provider said.

"This bill does nothing to advance their extremist agenda to limit access to abortion. Instead, it blocks access to crucial family planning services for thousands of Iowans – the very services that most effectively prevent abortion. It’s a self-serving, misleading and dangerous political game."

Republican Amy Sinclair of Allerton seemed to have an underlying motive behind why she supported the bill. It was clear that she was not in favor of abortions that were not "medically necessary" as opposed to being against abortion totally.

"This change will allow Iowa to restrict government funding to family planning services away from organizations that perform abortions that are not medically necessary," Sinclair said ahead of the vote.

She also said the bill could improve access to healthcare for rural women and their families.

“There are zero Planned Parenthood clinics in [her local district],” she said. “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."

Any “health services” or prenatal care that Planned Parenthood claims to provide is totally nonexistent, as discovered by recent undercover investigations conducted by Live Action.

Abortions comprise 97% of the organization’s “services” and not the 3 percent figure touted by the organization’s executives, the mainstream media and pro-abortion advocates.

Current Iowa law prohibits taxpayer funds going to abortion. However, this bill goes a step further by slashing funding to clinics providing other women's "health services" (including contraceptives and reproductive health exams) and instead calls for the creation of a new program to distribute funds to eligible clinics under the new guidelines.

The bill now goes to the House and then to Gov. Terry Branstad, who has pledged his support for the new measures.

Planned Parenthood is Iowa's largest abortion provider with 12 clinics operating in the state, but no public money goes toward abortions, according to The Des Moines Register. The abortion provider, which has drawn the ire of Republicans because of its shocking practices, has been dealt a blow by President Donald Trump, who has signed domestic and international executive orders to ax federal funding.

In a March 2015, LifeSiteNews op-ed, former abortionist-turned-pro-life-advocate Abby Johnson challenged the false narrative that access to contraceptives decreases abortions significantly.

She cited a Planned Parenthood statement that said: "More than half of women obtaining abortions in 2000 (54 percent) had been using a contraceptive method during the month they became pregnant.”

Lila Rose, pioneering undercover pro-life investigator/activist and founder of Live Action, also exposed Planned Parenthood’s deceitful scheme in a 2013 movie Birth Control: How Did We Get Here?

In an excerpt from the film, Rose says Planned Parenthood is strategically set up to partner with school and university sex-ed programs that encourage young people to engage in sexual activity and experimentation.

“They encourage young girls, young women, to go on hormonal contraceptives like the birth control pill," she said.

But she said there's a high failure rate with contraceptives.

"There's a lot of teen pregnancies, there's a lot of pregnancies of young single mothers in their 20s and so what they do then is turn to Planned Parenthood, who is not coincidentally the biggest abortion chain, and then they go there purchasing $500, $800, $1,200, $2,000 abortions to resolve the sexual activity that was started and encouraged by Planned Parenthood in the first place."

Caleb Stephen is a widely-published Christian conservative freelance journalist, columnist and social commentator based in Australia. He is also the founder and Editor-In-Chief of The Caleb Report. Caleb, the oldest in a family of nine, has been an active pro-life advocate for a number of years participating in rallies, political campaigns, multimedia promotion and public events. Caleb is thankful for the opportunity to be one of LifeSiteNews’ Australian correspondents. Visit his website and follow him on Twitter @CalebSOfficial

  abortion, iowa state senate, medicaid, planned parenthood

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