The Iowa House Republicans were unable to convince Democrats in the Senate to support the Sweeney Amendment. This amendment would have ended taxpayer funded abortions in Iowa and prioritized family planning funds to ensure comprehensive health care providers were funded to the fullest extent possible.
Iowa Right to Life is profoundly grateful for the brave leadership of State Representative Annette Sweeney (R-Alden). Without her courage and tenacity, we would not have made the strides we did this session. Without her commitment to life, we would not be this close to end taxpayer funding of abortion. Thank you Representative Sweeney!
While the Sweeney Amendment was in Conference Committee, the Senate had State Senators Jack Hatch (D-Des Moines), Joe Bolkcom (D-Iowa City) and Amanda Ragan (D-Mason City), the most rabid pro-abortion legislators in that chamber negotiating for them. They would fall on their sword before giving an inch to life. Pro-lifers solely only had one, our committed pro-life champion, State Representative Matt Windschitl (R-Missouri Valley).
The House refused to fund the section of the HHS budget dealing with family planning and taxpayer funded abortion above the amount in the two-year budget appropriated last year.
This allowed them to come to an agreement on the rest of the budget and adjourn for the year, which they did Wednesday.
The net result is that the appropriations for family planning, certain areas of Medicaid, etc., they could not agree on will run out of money during the next legislative session. The House Republicans have therefore tee’d up the issue and forced a supplemental appropriation vote early on in the next session to deal with abortion funding. If the Iowa Senate is controlled by a majority of pro-life Senators after this November’s election, we’ll be able to finish this debate once and for all regarding prioritizing of funds and the end of taxpayer funded abortions.
It’s important to note that Medicaid is fully funded and anyone needing Medicaid or Medicare services or even family planning services will receive them in the interim.
We are extremely disappointed the House and Senate were not able to come to an agreement on this important issue this year, but are hopeful that the stage has been set for a major victory for the unborn next session.
This election, when it comes to this issue in particular, matters most! Get out the vote!
Goranson & Pawlewski are both lobbyists for Iowa Right to Life.