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Des Moines, IA—A Iowa House subcommittee today advanced an omnibus bill that funnels $2 million in taxpayer money to fund anti-abortion centers, boosting a costly state program that has less than a year under its belt and no publicly released results.

The House Health and Human Services subcommittee passed the measure, HSB 91, meaning it will now go to the full committee for a vote.

The hearing today comes on the heels of lawmakers who want to outlaw abortion in Iowa introducing a total ban on medication abortion, HF146, that would make it a felony to manufacture, distribute, prescribe dispense, sell or transfer medication abortion pills in Iowa. The penalty is up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $13,660. 

“It is clear that lawmakers are laying the groundwork to ban abortion and significantly expand the footprint of fake health centers in Iowa that are not medically licensed, so they can sell them as a replacement for families in need,” said Mazie Stilwell, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa Director of Public Affairs. “More than 50% of abortions in Iowa are medication abortions. Banning medication abortion will impact thousands of people. Plus, anti-abortion centers have a well documented history of following a dangerous, predatory business model and arePoliticians are systematically working to ban and criminalize health care, while they intentionally fund fake women health centers at the same time. The end result would be catastrophic for Iowans.  

Medication abortions are safe and effective with fewer than 1% of patients having complications. The FDA recently loosened restrictions allowing patients to be prescribed the two-dose regimen without an in-person visit.

The bill also includes $560,000 for a state-funded family medicine obstetrical fellowship program, as well as funding for pharmacist prescribed birth control and fatherhood initiatives.

“At a young age I was signed up to volunteer at an anti-abortion center after my mother found me reading ahead in my homeschool curriculum about how our bodies work, puberty and human sexuality,” said Elizabeth Feldman, a Des Moines abortion advocate who testified during the hearing. “She thought exposing me to the ‘harsh’ reality of unplanned pregnancy. What I witnessed was medically untrained staff saying anything and everything to keep women from having abortions. For months I saw firsthand the use of misleading tactics, and the intentional manipulation of pregnant people. No one should be tricked, coerced, shamed, or forced into giving birth if they don’t want to. Not then, and definitely not now.”



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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