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Des Moines, IA — Iowa lawmakers who want to outlaw abortion today unleashed further attacks against Iowans’ control over their bodies and futures, introducing a measure in the Iowa House that effectively bans all medication abortion, which has an over 99% safety record.  Lawmakers also advanced another bill in the Iowa Senate that allows medical providers and insurers to deny care for any reason, while adding extreme procedural burdens on abortion providers. 

HF2122 requires medication abortion manufacturers, distributors, physicians and pharmacists to be certified under a new, unnecessary program. The requirements serve no medical purpose but are meant to make abortion care more complex and inconvenient to provide, in hopes that fewer providers are willing to comply, and abortion access declines. It opens groups up to civil litigation if a person feels the law has been violated. Providers would potentially face felony charges, disciplinary action against their license, and up to $5 million in fines. The bill also mandates that doctors counsel patients on the safety of so-called “abortion reversals,” a dangerous and medically unproven process.  

“Politicians who want to take away Iowans’ reproductive freedom are attacking medication abortion as part of their continuous efforts to strip our patients’’ control over their bodies and futures,” said Ruth Richardson, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States. “These attacks are dangerous, irresponsible and conflict with established scientific evidence. Medication abortion has been proven to be safe and effective since being approved by the FDA more than 20 years ago. This is nothing more than a calculated attack on abortion access that will deny people the freedom to make their own health care decisions, further destabilize the health care workforce and deepen disparities.” 

In the Iowa Senate, lawmakers advanced SSB 3006 out of subcommittee. The measure would allow almost all health care providers to deny any health care services to patients for any reason, including ethical and moral “beliefs and principles” and religious objections. It also requires any health care worker involved in abortion care, including schedulers, therapists, aids and assistants, to consent in writing beforehand, placing an intense procedural burden on hospitals and other providers. 

SSB 3006 would condone discriminatory practices both at the individual and entity level and includes health care insurers and management companies, allowing payors and employees to refuse to cover processed claims. The proposal also has an exceptionally broad protection for free speech under the First Amendment, protecting speech or expressive activity by any individual who is licensed or certified in Iowa, even if they are shaming a patient or providing false information. It allows these providers to share misinformation with their patients about disproven risks or impacts of any health care without fear of losing their license. 

Both bills put essential health care further out of reach for Iowans, who face multiple health crises because of Republicans’ failed policies. 

“This sweeping bill places further unnecessary barriers for Iowans seeking essential health care in a state that already faces multiple health crises because of the failed policies of politicians who want to ban abortion,” said Mazie Stilwell, Director of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa. “It allows almost anyone who works at health care facilities, pharmacies, or health insurance companies to refuse to provide or cover any type of health care services. It combines all of the most extreme provisions we have seen in other states and rolls them all into one. Once again, Iowa lawmakers are showing they have zero interest in bettering the health of the Iowans they were elected to serve. This kind of state-sanctioned discrimination has no place in our state. Every Iowan deserves better.” 



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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