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Des Moines, IA — Sexual assault survivors in Iowa will no longer receive state paid abortions, Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird said Friday when she released the results of a more than yearlong audit that has paused reimbursements for emergency contraceptives and, in rare cases, abortions. Reimbursements for emergency contraceptives will resume amid a backlog of approximately 400 cases. 

Bird, a Republican, called for an audit of the victim services program and halted payments for care on January 1, 2023. While using the audit to justify stopping the program, Bird went against the longstanding practice for the Attorney General’s office to pay for emergency contraceptives and, in rare cases, abortion care for sexual assault survivors. During the span of the audit, there was only one request for reimbursement for abortion care, according to Bird.  

Crime Victim Compensation Funds are not funded with taxpayer dollars but, instead, money from criminal penalties and fees. The reimbursement requests came from hospitals and pharmacies across the state, with several dating as far back as 2020. One includes a case of child abuse.    

“For months, Attorney General Bird unnecessarily denied reimbursement for hundreds of sexual assault survivors, turning them into political pawns,” said Mazie Stilwell, Director of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa. “Politicizing sexual assault survivors is absolutely reprehensible and sickening. These are real people who are vulnerable and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Although state-paid emergency contraceptives will resume, those in need of abortion care will now have to shoulder the cost. This is the last thing survivors should have to worry about. It’s not right, and we must demand better from the people elected to represent us.”   



Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa (PPAI) is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a mission of fostering and preserving a social and political climate favorable to reproductive health. To meet this mission, PPAI engages in lobbying, issues education, and supporter mobilization.  


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