Health

Planned Parenthood awarded federal sex education funding under injunction

What we know so far about the dispute over Planned Parenthood's role

Buttons rest on a table at a book signing event with Cecile Richards to promote her new book,
Buttons rest on a table at a book signing event with Cecile Richards to promote her new book, "Make Trouble," at Raygun in Cedar Rapids on Friday, July 13, 2018. Richards is president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

Despite a new law blocking them from federal funding, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland has been awarded thousands of dollars by state officials to continue teaching sex education to young Iowans.

Here’s a look at what’s known so far about Planned Parenthood’s uncertain role in Iowa’s sex education programs.

Planned Parenthood awarded funding

State agencies announced at the end of this past month Planned Parenthood had received funding from two federally backed grant programs to offer sex education services in schools and other youth programs for the upcoming 2020 fiscal year.

Planned Parenthood was awarded more than $231,000 under the Community Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention and Services Program, or CAPP, a program administered by the Iowa Department of Human Services.

The organization will offer CAPP-related sex education in:

• Des Moines

• Lee County

• Linn County

• Polk County

• Woodbury County.

Planned Parenthood also was one of seven entities named by the Department of Public Health as recipients of the Personal Responsibility Education Program, or PREP, for the upcoming fiscal year. The funding amount or the counties the service will be offered in was not specified.

But for a short time last month, it seemed Planned Parenthood would be blocked from this funding for the upcoming year.

READ MORE:

• New-school sex ed: Today's Iowa public classrooms go beyond anatomy, reproduction 
• Abortions decline: Number of abortions in Iowa continue to decrease, but why?

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A law passes ...

In the waning days of the 2019 session, the Republican-majority Statehouse approved a provision of the health and human services budget that blocked any organization that “provides or promotes abortion” from federal dollars to teach sex education in Iowa.

Republican lawmakers said it was a move to further undermine Planned Parenthood, which conservatives across the country target for providing abortion services.

Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the budget, and the provision, into law in early May.

Planned Parenthood reacts ...

Erin Davison-Rippey, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland state executive director of Iowa, emphasized the funds from these grant programs are not used to provide abortion services. She said it’s unfortunate the larger abortion access debate is “being used to turn this funding into politically-motivated narrative.”

... And a lawsuit is filed

The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa filed a lawsuit in Polk County District Court on behalf of Planned Parenthood, arguing the law should be declared unconstitutional.

The petition requested a temporary injunction on the law, stopping it from going into effect on July 1. Polk County District Court Judge Joseph Seidlin granted the injunction on May 29.

Just two days later, state officials announced Planned Parenthood was awarded the previously blocked grants.

Court proceedings ultimately will decide if blocking Planned Parenthood from the program is unconstitutional. But for now, the organization is allowed to continue to offer sex education services to young Iowans.

In fiscal year 2018, Planned Parenthood levied those grants to provide education services in dozens of schools and youth-focused organizations, according to Department of Human Services public documents obtained by The Gazette.

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Where Planned Parenthood has been involved

Here’s where Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, with CAPP funding, facilitated sex education:

Plymouth/Woodbury County:

• Sergeant Bluff Middle School

• Anthon Oto Middle School

• North High, Sioux City

• West High School, Sioux City

• Akron-Westfield

• East High-Sioux City

• Western Iowa Technical Community College

Dallas, Jasper and Polk counties:

• Brody Middle School

• West Central Valley Middle School

• Waukee High School

• Prairie City Monroe Middle School

• Newton High School

• Drake University

• Perry High School

• Urbandale Middle School

• Woodside Middle School

• Southeast Polk High School

• Southeast Polk High School

• Lincoln High School

• Scavo High School

• Hoover High School

• East High School

• North High School

• Goodrell Middle School

• Community Youth Concepts

• Children and Family Urban Movement, Des Moines

• Young Women’s Resource Center, Des Moines

• Grubb YMCA-Polk County

Des Moines/Lee County:

• Keokuk Middle School

• Keokuk High School

• Burlington Innovative Learning Academy

• Burlington High School

• Christamore Youth Services

• Burlington SCC Campus

• Lee County Juvenile Detention Center

Linn County:

• Franklin Middle School

• Harding Middle School

• Wilson Middle School

• Marion High School

• Linn County Juvenile Detention Center

• Foundation 2 Youth Shelter

• ASAC CD+

• (IN) Power

• Teen Corner

• Comments: (319) 398-8330, molly.duffy@thegazette.com; (319) 368-8536, michaela.ramm@thegazette.com

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