On Thursday, the Iowa House Appropriations Committee voted along party lines to eliminate state Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood or any other entity that offers abortions.
“We don’t want that money going to organizations that provide abortions,” Republican State Representative Walt Rogers said in support of the bill. “That is the issue that causes angst within our caucus.”
Abortion defenders have attacked the measure, claiming it’s unnecessary because the state cannot directly finance elective abortions anyway, that it would negatively impact funding for non-abortion health services, and that it runs counter to a March poll showing 74% of Iowans in favor of continuing to fund Planned Parenthood’s non-abortion activities.
But Chuck Hurley, a representative of Iowa’s socially-conservative Family Leader Foundation, calls it “disingenuous” to claim Planned Parenthood’s current funding does not indirectly support abortion (according to the Susan B. Anthony List, a $300 million increase in the abortion giant’s federal funding from 2000 to 2013 led to a 66% increase in their abortions).
Wider dissemination of those numbers could have a significant impact on the aforementioned poll, as 68% of Americans oppose taxpayer funding for abortion itself. And Federally-Qualified Health Centers and rural health clinics that provide low-income women’s healthcare outnumber Planned Parenthood locations by a factor of 16 in Iowa, and would receive the funding this bill takes from abortion providers:
However, even if the bill passes in the House, it is unlikely to make it through the Democrat-controlled state Senate.