Ignoring the opposition of thousands of Iowans, the Republican-controlled state legislature passed a Planned Parenthood “defunding” measure — similar to the measure in “Trumpcare” — that is forcing the closure of four Planned Parenthood health centers this Friday, June 30. This is despite the fact that 77 percent of Iowans support funding for care at Planned Parenthood and that other health care providers in Iowa cannot meet the tremendous need for care without Planned Parenthood.
Politicians have suggested women could go to “alternative” providers like dentists and school nurses instead. In fact, Planned Parenthood served 30 percent of the more than 12,000 people who received care through the state’s Medicaid family planning waiver program last year, according to the Iowa Legislative Services Agency. This legislation would be hardest on people who already face barriers to accessing health care — especially people of color, young people, people with low to moderate incomes, and people who live in rural areas.
The impact of these attacks will have an immediate impact on Iowa women — leaving nearly 15,000 Iowans without access to their trusted health care provider.
Here are a few of their stories.
Sara is a person of faith and has relied on Planned Parenthood since she was 16 for birth control, cancer screenings, STI testing and annual exams. She has premature ovarian failure, multiple sclerosis (MS) and other health conditions - access to health care is absolutely essential to her.
She does not know where she will go once her health center in Iowa is closed.
Laura relied on Planned Parenthood after she was sexually assaulted in college for after care, and for birth control, screenings and medical counseling throughout her 20s. She, like many other women, suffers from endometriosis, a condition that can cause painful periods, heavy bleeding, and even make it more difficult to become pregnant.
She is now the proud mother of a 10 month old daughter and credits her fertility to Planned Parenthood.
Phoebe is a single mother to a 4-year-old son. She is also a sexual assault survivor and struggles with mental health issues. She is a Medicaid patient and relies of Planned Parenthood as her primary source of health care for birth control, cancer screenings and annual exams.
She does not know where she is going to go in a year when it's time to replace her IUD.
This is only the beginning.
Trumpcare has similar language to the Iowa bill, prohibiting patients who rely on Medicaid -- nearly half of the millions who rely on Planned Parenthood -- from turning to Planned Parenthood for preventive health care like cancer screenings, birth control, well-woman exams or STD testing and treatment.
This bill prohibits patients from coming to Planned Parenthood for health care even if we have been their health care provider for decades, and even if, as is the case for many of our patients, they have no other providers they can turn to. And unlike other provisions in this bill, the banning patients from coming to Planned Parenthood would go into effect immediately. This means as early as hours after the president signs Trumpcare into law, millions across this country would be told they could no longer come to Planned Parenthood.
Don't Let This Happen
Call your Senator and tell them you won’t go backward when it comes to women’s health.