Yesterday the Iowa House, along with a few other bills, passed the Health and Human Services Budget and adjourned “Sine Die.” They are done for the year. We were very hopeful and worked up to the last hours of the session to convince both chambers and both parties to take action to end taxpayer funding of abortion and protect life. At the very least, we were hopeful that both chambers could come together around ending the awful practice of webcam abortions in the State before the session was completed. Unfortunately, the two chambers could not come together to agree on this issue.
The final version of the HHS Budget bill was negotiated by legislators in the final hours and days of the session and does not move the ball forward, but instead hands the issue off to the Governor’s Office. The bill requires the Governor’s office to authorize funding for each abortion consistent with options under federal law. There are, on average, 25 of these abortions in Iowa each year. We are still unsure how this changes current practice in the Department of Human Services. We will have to wait and see how the Governor’s Office responds to these requests for reimbursement.
We are disappointed that this legislature did not end taxpayer funding of abortion this year. We are also disappointed that our webcam abortion legislation was halted during the first funnel deadline. We will not give up on these issues. Many of our pro-life friends in the House and Senate did the best they could to advance these issues and made valiant efforts to block this funding of abortions. We are grateful for their heart and conviction!
Iowa Right to Life is already working on a strategy for the next legislative session and we will continue to keep the issue of webcam abortion front and center. With impersonal, dangerous and irresponsible practices like this starting in Iowa, it is our responsibility to end it here as soon as possible.
Please join us this summer in engaging your legislators. We are more resolute than ever to apply as much pressure as it takes next legislative session to make tangible progress for the unborn. Watch for our newsletters and updates. We’ll be doing many things in the coming months to pave the way for success at the Capitol as we move forward.
Photo Credit: Sarah Brooks