UPDATE, 5/9/19: Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed the legislation into law on May 4, 2019. LifeSiteNews reports that the plan, according to GOP state Rep. Joel Fry, is to keep the funding level for sex education in the state the same, but “abortion providers will no longer be eligible for grants,” adding that Iowa taxpayers have made it clear they don’t want to fund “organizations whose primary business model is providing abortions.”
4/28/19: Over the weekend, both the Iowa Senate and House voted to reroute federal money that the state receives for sex education away from Planned Parenthood. The state’s health and human services spending bill including this provision now heads to the desk of Governor Kim Reynolds. “The proposal, tucked into a health budget bill,” writes the Des Moines Register, “would prohibit Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, the Iowa chapter of the national organization, from accessing two federal grants it receives for sexual health education programming” — removing about $260,000 from the abortion provider.
Democrat Senator Liz Mathis told Iowa Public Radio that she believes Planned Parenthood — which commits 330,000 abortions annually (35% of the nation’s abortions) — prevents unplanned pregnancies and should not be targeted. “Every last person in this Senate wants to see abortions reduced,” Mathis told IPR. “How do you think abortions are reduced? Birth control, sex education—that’s how they are reduced.”
But is Planned Parenthood reducing abortions? Even while providing widespread sex education in the U.S., Planned Parenthood isn’t decreasing the abortion numbers at its own corporation. Abortions have been on the rise at Planned Parenthood nationally (while overall U.S. numbers show an abortion decline), even as the abortion corporation’s legitimate health services — like cancer screenings — continue to plummet. According to its most recent annual report, 11,000 more abortions were committed by Planned Parenthood in 2017 than in the previous year. But that’s not all: contraception services at Planned Parenthood are down 33% over ten years, cancer screenings are down 68% over ten years, and patient numbers have declined 23% since 2006.
Indeed, funneling money to an organization that purports to offer sex education and pregnancy prevention — while making money from patients who accidentally become pregnant and choose abortion — seems counterproductive to many. In fact, Planned Parenthood’s sex education programming has, in some cases, been shown to have the opposite of its intended effect, resulting in an increase in earlier sexual activity among high school-aged students.
The question remains whether taxpayers should be funding Planned Parenthood at all. Sue Thayer, a former director of a Planned Parenthood of the Heartland facility in Storm Lake, Iowa, has pointed out the organization’s history of fraud and dishonesty in its practices, as have many other past employees of the abortion corporation. A previous Live Action News article noted:
In 2015, Thayer testified before a Congressional committee… accusing Planned Parenthood of filing “[…] false claims totaling about $28 million with Iowa’s Medicaid program for (1) illegally dispensing “medically unnecessary” quantities of oral contraceptive pills and birth control patches to C-Mail Medicaid patients and doing so without a prescription; (2) fraudulently billing the Iowa Medicaid program for abortion-related services; and (3) coercing “donations” from Medicaid patients.
Click here for a short list of Planned Parenthood’s many questionable (some illegal) practices — like tens of millions of dollars in Medicaid overbilling and fraud, some of which the corporation has been forced to pay back to taxpayers. But fraud isn’t the only issue; it has been caught lying to women about fetal development; has returned multiple abuse victims back to their abusers according to court records, and has refused to report suspected or known rape, abuse, and trafficking, and in some cases shown willingness to aid and abet sex traffickers. Former employees have testified that Planned Parenthood’s main business is abortion, and that it essentially uses high-pressure sales tactics under the guise of “counseling” to encourage vulnerable women to choose abortion. The corporation’s own president, Leana Wen, called abortion its “core mission.”
In February of this year, a judge struck down Iowa’s law banning abortion after detection of a preborn child’s heartbeat in the first trimester. Governor Kim Reynolds announced that the state will not appeal that decision. Iowa taxpayers not want to fund abortions or abortion providers. It remains to be seen whether the bill stripping Planned Parenthood of sex ed funding will pass, and if it does, whether it will be allowed to stand.
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