The Associated Press reported on Monday that Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has “reiterated” that he doesn’t have the legal authority to defund Planned Parenthood.
Branstad said Monday his office has spoken with the Iowa Attorney General about the state’s options in removing taxpayer funding that Planned Parenthood of the Heartland receives for Medicaid services. He says the state would need to show Planned Parenthood has violated terms of the grant money it receives.
He can reiterate it all he wants, he’s wrong. Branstad today can cancel all contracts including Medicaid contracts. Attorney General Tom Miller, a partisan Democrat, will never give Branstad legal cover because he disagrees with the premise of defunding Planned Parenthood. Branstad is using this as an excuse for his inaction and Iowans should not let this slide.
Branstad wants reasons. How about the obvious one. Planned Parenthood’s 13 clinics in Iowa don’t provide the quality health seen in the hundreds of federally qualified health centers that could benefit from taxpayer funds. Cecile Richards, the President of Planned Parenthood, in her testimony before Congress admitted they don’t provide mammograms. So what is Iowa really paying for here? They shouldn’t be listed as an approved Medicaid provider because women can easily find the services they provide elsewhere.
How about harvesting fetal tissue and selling it that we’ve seen with several of the Center for Medical Progress videos that came out? Are we to believe that Planned Parenthood of the Heartland doesn’t engage in this practice? Planned Parenthood affiliates have been caught covering up for sex trafficking. They have been caught encouraging minors to engage in BDSM. Then there is the investigation of Medicaid fraud.
Branstad had zero problems using executive authority to address bullying in the state, what will it actually take for him to act on defunding Planned Parenthood? He knows that even if the Iowa House passes a defunding measure that it is unlikely (putting it mildly) to pass in the Senate.
Executive action is what is needed, and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal provided the path to follow, and there are a growing chorus of voices calling on Branstad to do this including Congressman David Young (R-Iowa) who told Simon Conway on WHO Radio last week he believes Branstad should cancel Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid contracts. There is a growing number of state legislators who are pressing Branstad to take action. The Republican Party of Iowa State Central Committee called for the defunding of Planned Parenthood, as well as, numerous county party central committees.
There is no cover to be had. Branstad must keep his campaign promise and defund Planned Parenthood.