The Iowa Legislature is about to vote on discontinuing state funding for Planned Parenthood. In order to do this, Gov. Terry Branstad proposes creating a network of funding for existing clinics by taking $2.8 million from funds for disabled children. Last year, 26,000 women and men (yes men!) received care at Planned Parenthood clinics, partially through the Iowa Family Planning Network. This is a $3 million federal and state fund, distributed across Iowa, to help women and men have access to contraception and cancer screening. Many private clinics are not accepting new Medicaid patients and turn away the uninsured, hence the need for Planned Parenthood facilities. Several recent studies have shown the substantial savings in health dollars when women and men have access to contraception. In 2016, 74 percent of Iowans favored continuing state support of Planned Parenthood.
Why do we continue to punish the poor in general and women in particular? Why, if the majority of us favor access to Planned Parenthood, would we allow our legislators to defund it?
If legislators do not hear from you, by email or phone, this funding will disappear and much access to reproductive health with it. We will all pay a steep price.