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Des Moines, IA — An Iowa Senate subcommittee today advanced a bill that would loosen accountability requirements for the state and third-party contractors administering the stalled MOMS program, which currently diverts $2 million in taxpayer money to anti-abortion centers.  

Subcommittee members approved the measure 2-1, with Iowa Sen. Sarah Trone Garriott, a Democrat, voting against it. The bill mirrors another that advanced earlier this month in the Iowa House after Iowans shared personal stories about their harmful experiences with anti-abortion centers, including using deceptive tactics and religiously-laced propaganda to pressure them into not having an abortion and providing inaccurate “medical” advice.  

The state has failed twice to find a contractor to run its MOMS program, which was created in 2022 and requires a third-party administrator with at least three years of experience to administer it. SSB 3114 would allow the state to run the program, but also removes the three-year requirement for contractors, resulting in illegitimate organizations being eligible to receive millions of taxpayer dollars. The bill also reduces transparency for the public by removing the requirement for program administrator and subcontractor criteria to be published on the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services website.    

“While lawmakers continue their march to prop up fake women’s health centers, Iowans are going without the essential actual medical care that they so desperately need,” said Mazie Stilwell, Public Affairs Director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa. “This proposed bill is just another example of how Iowa politicians are out of touch with the people they serve. Instead of blindly throwing taxpayer money at anti-abortion centers, our elected officials should focus on tackling the multiple health care crises they have created with their harmful policies throughout the past six years. Iowa needs to move forward, not further back.”   

Anti-abortion centers do not provide actual medical care and lack any meaningful state or federal medical oversight. Because they are not legitimate medical providers, they are not bound by data privacy laws like HIPAA. Instead, they use false and misleading tactics to lure pregnant people through their doors. They present themselves as actual health care professionals, putting vulnerable people’s health in danger. Their only goal is to prevent people from having abortions through their propaganda.    

The Iowa MOMS program is based off a similar program in Texas, that was created under Kelly Garcia’s leadership. Garcia now is the director of the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services. The Texas program ballooned from $5 million a year to more than $100 million, as other core state programs went through budget cuts.    



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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