DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa lawmakers sent a bill to Gov. Kim Reynolds desk over the weekend that would prohibit Planned Parenthood from getting federal grants for sex education programs.
The policy, tucked inside a budget bill funding health and human services that totals $1.9 billion, was approved before lawmakers in the GOP-controlled statehouse adjourned for the year on Saturday. No Democrats supported the proposal.
The bill language targets organizations that perform or facilitate abortions, but carved out an exception for providers that are affiliated with hospitals and primary care clinics--effectively prohibiting only Planned Parenthood from applying and receiving two federal grants designed for sex education programming.
The funds go towards evidenced-based, comprehensive pregnancy prevention strategies in an effort to reduce teen pregnancies, according to the Iowa Department of Human Services.
On Tuesday Gov. Kim Reynolds declined to say whether she would sign the bill with the Planned Parenthood provision in it.
“There are a lot of providers that provide that service—there’s not just one in the state that provides that service. But we’ll take a look at that legislation and make a decision moving forward," Reynolds said. She has 30 days to sign the bill into law, but has the power to line item veto certain provisions of budget bills like the language about the federal grant money distribution.
Erin Davison-Rippey, state director for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, condemned the measure as "shameful."
“By defunding Planned Parenthood, you remove one of the most significant providers of sex education from the system,” she said. “If we want to prevent abortion and unintended pregnancy, ensuring young people in this state have access to Sex Ed and can make those decisions is key.”
The organization estimates that this fiscal year it received $260,000 for these grants.
Reynolds pitched expanding birth control access to lawmakers this year, but that bill failed to advance in the Iowa House.