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Iowa House approves budget bill that includes cutting funding for Planned Parenthood

Iowa State Capitol Building, Des Moines

On a 55-42 vote, the Iowa House approved the Health and Human Services bill that makes several cuts, but sets aside state dollars to create a new family planning program.

This move wouldn't allow state dollars to fund providers like Planned Parenthood and would in turn be walking away from federal Medicaid dollars that would've come in from the Iowa Family Planning Network.

State Rep. Marti Anderson, a Democrat from Des Moines, shared her story in hopes it could persuade Republicans to rethink their plan. She explained how she used Planned Parenthood as a resource for reproductive care services when she was a social worker in the 1970s.

"I don't know where anybody thinks young women or poor women or just women who don't want their community or their friends to know about their birth control choices -- I don't know where they're going to go," she said.

State Rep. Joel Fry, R - Osceola, said the new family planning program would be overseen by the Department of Human Services. The amount that's been budgeted in the bill is just over $3 million.

State Rep. Dave Heaton, R - Mount Pleasant, who chairs the Health and Human Services Committee in the House, said he believes the overall Health and Human Services budget bill "does the best it can with the state's current fiscal situation to meet the needs of Iowans."

"While we have made reductions to some programs, we have taken some steps that will improve care and services," he said. "Areas like autism services, improving mental health bed tracking system, addressing telehealth."

This is one of several budget bills that have been clearing the legislative process as lawmakers are working towards adjourning for this legislative session.

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