Iowa State Capitol

2nd Update: From an email sent by Norm Pawlewski of the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition and Iowa Right to Life which brings a little more clarity (at least for me).

In the original bill, the House eliminated all taxpayer funding for abortions that do not endanger the life of the mother. The Senate would not agree. They insist on the current language, so the bill has gone to a conference committee. That committee is still meeting today to try and resolve the impasse.

The real battle is within the Republican caucus of the House. To put it simply, some pro-life representatives want to stay with their original language, i.e. “no taxpayer funding for these Medicaid abortions.” Other equally pro-life representatives are willing to accept some funding (as required by the Federal Government) but with more restrictions than are in the current law. We don’t as yet know what those new restrictions would be, but they could result in some abortions not being performed. When we get the language, we will forward it to you and give you some idea about what they may mean in practicality.

At this point, if you are moved to act, you should call your “Republican” House member or the Republican House leaders to let them know what you think they should do.

The issue is complex. I have talked to several pro-life legislators today at the Capitol. They are divided on whether or not to insist on the original House version.

Here are your choices on what to say to the Republican House member you call or e-mail:

1. Reject any compromise on taxpayer funding of abortions. (You should know that all Federal funds for Medicaid, about 2/3 of the Medicaid budget, might be put in jeopardy.)

2. Get whatever you can to restrict Medicaid abortions to their absolute minimum.

Don’t waste your time calling Democrat representatives. This fight is in the House Republican caucus.

Update: I jumped the gun a bit when I posted this.  I misunderstood where each side was coming from.  My perspective is that I want to see the Iowa House Republicans stand fast on tightening the current funding limits and not compromise.  Apparently those who I quoted think the House Republicans are compromising because their tightening doesn’t go far enough.

Status quo currently is what the Democrats want, so if the Republicans get their funding restrictions passed it would be a net gain.

Sorry for my error and for throwing an unnecessary grenade in the debate.  I do encourage you to call your legislator to approve the funding restrictions.

Original: From

A battle over whether taxpayers should be forced to pay, via Medicaid, for abortions done at University of Iowa Hospitals is threatening to hold up a deal between state House Republicans and state Senate Democrats on the state budget.

Senate Democrats want to keep current language allowing abortion funding in cases of rape, incest, fetal abnormalities, or to save a mother’s life to stay in place while Republicans want to tighten the current funding limits to include only saving the life of the mother and cases when the unborn child with not survive. Republicans also want informed consent provisions in place that inform women of abortion risks and alternatives and allow an ultrasound to be shown to women before having an abortion. (read rest)

So the members of the Iowa House Republican caucus need to reminded this is a compromise that we will not accept.  You can contact those House members here or call the switchboard at (515) 281-3221.

Two of the Iowa Republican State Central Committee members (and Ron Paul campaign staff) have publically called on Iowa House Republicans to reject such a compromise:

A.J. Spiker wrote:

It has come to my attention that House Republicans are considering passing a budget that includes funding for abortion. It is unconscionable to me that fellow Pro-Life Iowans could be forced to fund killing babies through their tax dollars.

I trust I can count on you to vote against any budget that contains taxpayer funding for abortion.

David Fischer in an email wrote:

It is disgraceful to require pro-life Iowans to pay for abortions.  The proper role of government is to protect life, not take part in terminating it.  We worked hard to elect Republicans with the goal of reducing the size and scope of government and we want you to vote against any budget that includes taxpayer-funded abortions.

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