Des Moines, Iowa — We told you previously about an effort in the Iowa House to “defund” Planned Parenthood. Friday, all but one Democrat in the Iowa Senate voted to block that effort. Under current law, Medicaid patients in Iowa can go to Planned Parenthood for contraceptives or reproductive health exams.
Earlier this week House Republicans voted to ban all state tax dollars from being spent at Planned Parenthood, proposing instead that Medicaid patients go to more than 200 “federally-qualified health care providers” for family planning services.
That’s Republican Senator Amy Sinclair of Allerton, an advocate of the House G-O-P’s plan. No state tax dollars are being spent on abortion services at Planned Parenthood, but Republican Senator Ken Rozenboom of Oskaloosa says many Iowans “strenuously object” to sending ANY tax dollars to the organization.
Senator Amanda Ragan, a Democrat from Mason City, spoke out against the G-O-P effort to “defund” Planned Parenthood.
Ragan acknowledged the “passion” this debate has generated.
At the conclusion of debate, 25 Democratic senators voted to stick with the status quo and allow state funding of NON-abortion services at Planned Parenthood. All 24 Republicans, plus Democratic Senator Joe Seng of Davenport voted to bar all tax dollars from going to Planned Parenthood. That means the House G-O-P plan failed on a tie vote today (Friday) in the Senate. Planned Parenthood officials say about 30-thousand Iowa Medicaid patients get NON-abortion services at Planned Parenthood each year. The State of Iowa pays 10 percent of those bills. The federal government covers the rest.