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The Iowa House voted 56 to 42 on HF 2460, the appropriations bill for Health and Human Services, that included provisions to remove funding for abortion providers.

The relevant language in the bill:

Iowans support reducing the number of abortions performed in our state. Funds appropriated under this section shall not be used for abortions, unless other wise authorized under this section. The provisions of this section relating to abortions shall also apply to the Iowa health and wellness plan created pursuant to chapter 249N.

The language above prevents funding for abortions, but where the defunding actually occurs can be found later in the bill when discussing the state family planning services program.

4. Distribution of family planning services program funds shall not be made to any entity that performs abortions or that maintains or operates a facility where abortions are performed. For the purposes of this section, “abortion” does not include any of the following:

a. The treatment of a woman for a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, that would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death.

b. The treatment of a woman for a spontaneous abortion, commonly known as a miscarriage, when not all of the products of human conception are expelled.

5. Family planning services program funds distributed in accordance with this section shall not be used for direct or indirect costs, including but not limited to administrative costs or expenses, overhead, employee salaries, rent, and telephone and other utility costs, related to providing abortions as specified in subsection 4.

This language prevents direct and indirect funding of groups like Planned Parenthood.

The vote was a party line vote with Republicans voting in favor of the bill, and Democrats voting against.

Predictably Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, Family Planning Council of Iowa were the only groups opposed to the bill. Most groups registered undecided, including the FAMiLY Leader.  Iowa Right to Life, the Iowa Catholic Conference and other pro-life groups did not register at all on the bill. Iowa Right to Life encouraged its supporters to contact their legislators however.

The bill goes to the Iowa Senate where this language will likely be amended out. The House and the Senate will likely have to work this out in a conference committee.

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