May 5, 2018 (Des Moines, IA) – On the heels of a rally on the Capitol steps Friday protesting the attacks on Planned Parenthood of the Heartland’s sex education funding, the House and Senate quietly took last-minute measures in the final days and hours of session to remove that language from the budget before sending it to the governor.
“While we are pleased common sense ultimately ruled the day, we know that Iowans will remember the anti-choice politicians who consistently vote for wrong-headed, unpopular efforts to attack Planned Parenthood and oppress women,” said Erin Davison-Rippey, director of public affairs.
“We appreciate the support we received at the rally from Iowans, patient advocates, youth advocates, and partnering organizations from across the state, including Emma Goldman Clinic, ACLU of Iowa, One Iowa, Iowa Safe Schools, Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, and Progress Iowa. Their outrage at this blatant effort to target the largest provider of age-appropriate, medically accurate sex education was palpable – and for once the overwhelming majority of legislators, even some of the most radical legislators bent on advancing their draconian agenda, listened to the will of the people. It’s about time.”
The language included in the original version of the Health and Human Services budget bill would have barred organizations that provide safe, legal abortion from participating in the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP), Abstinence Education Grant Program (AEGP), or Community Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention and Services program (CAPP) – grants that Planned Parenthood has repeatedly been awarded to provide much-needed sexual health education to Iowa youth. Because the grants in question are federal funds administered by the state, this policy provision would have had zero impact on Iowa’s bottom line.