Iowa moves to cut Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood

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The Republican-controlled Iowa state senate voted to cut Medicaid funding for family planning services to abortion providers including Planned Parenthood.

State senators passed the bill 30-20, advancing it to the Republican-controlled House. The vote was along party lines, with one independent voting in favor of the measure.

Republican Governor Terry Branstad has said he supports the bill.

Planned Parenthood draws the ire of many Republicans because it provides abortions, and Republican President Donald Trump has pledged to defund the organization.

“This change will allow Iowa to restrict government funding to family planning services away from organizations that perform abortions that are not medically necessary,” said Republican Senator Amy Sinclair, one of the bill’s sponsors.

Planned Parenthood denounced the vote.

“The Republican lawmakers who continue to advance this bill should be ashamed of themselves. They are playing political games, with the lives of low-income Iowans at stake,” Planned Parenthood of the Heartland said in a statement.

The bill directs the Iowa Department of Human Services to discontinue the Medicaid family planning network waiver on July 1 and replace it with a state family planning services program.

Eligibility requirements for the new network would remain the same, but no funding would be provided to organizations that provide abortions or maintain facilities where abortions are carried out.

Planned Parenthood is Iowa’s largest abortion provider with 12 clinics in the state.

Planned Parenthood is also facing a funding cut in Texas, where a judge is considering the move, which the organization has challenged in court.

— by Timothy Mclaughlin | Reuters

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