Abortion opponents in the Iowa legislature plan to divert more federal funds away from abortion providers like Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.
Last year, the Republican-led legislature forbid the government’s Medicaid program from paying for contraceptives or reproductive health exams at Planned Parenthood. Under this new proposal, Planned Parenthood will no longer be eligible for federal grants that support sex education for teenagers.
Representative Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, a Democrat from Ames, says Planned Parenthood’s sex ed programs help reduce the number of abortions.
“I know that Planned Parenthood works with this population and they understand this population and they are scientifically based and I have to say I am so disappointed,” Wessel-Kroeschell says.
Representative Sandy Salmon, a Republican from Janesville, says different organizations will be able to provide teenagers with appropriate information about sex.
“There’s definitely a conflict of interest with abortion providers and I think non-abortion providers would do a better job,” Salmon says.
The proposal is included in a budget bill and Republicans expect to approve the bill sometime this weekend.
(By Joyce Russell, Iowa Public Radio ; additional reporting by Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson)