The Iowa House passed on a 58-37 vote an amendment (H-8489) to the SF 2336 the Health and Human Services appropriations bill. The amendment provided clear and strong language which defunds abortion of state and federal family planning funds with the only exception being to save the life of the mother. It removes exceptions for rape and incest, as well as, fetal abnormalities. It also largely defunds abortion providers in the state of Iowa. The amendment reads:
A department shall not distribute state or federal family planning funds under this section to any entity that performs abortions or that maintains or operates a facility where abortions are performed.
In addition all state departments that distribute state and federal family planning money are required to report to the Governor and the General Assembly who received state or federal family planning funds. If they do distribute state or federal family planning funds to an entity that doesn’t provide primary health services they have to explain why it was necessary to prevent severe limitation or elimination to family planning services to that region of the state. This amendment had the full support of the Republican caucus.
Iowa GOP Chair A.J. Spiker applauded the news, “Many Iowans, including myself, are morally opposed to abortion. It is simply wrong to force an individual to finance something that is against his or her conscience. As Thomas Jefferson once said, ‘to compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.’ I applaud the Iowa House for standing up not only for life but for all Iowans who are morally opposed to their tax dollars being used for abortions.”
Update: Iowa Senate Democrats minus Senator Joe Seng voted for taxpayer-funded abortions, also apparently the Branstad Administration paid for fetal anomaly abortions even though those the Legislature removed that from the Iowa Department of Human Services budget.