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Des Moines, IA — Despite their best efforts, politicians in Iowa largely failed in their continued aggressive attacks against Iowans’ access to essential health care during the 2024 legislative session that ended today.  

Lawmakers whose goal is to ban all abortions in Iowa unsuccessfully introduced bills that would force Iowa students in grades 7-12 to watch a medically inaccurate video about fetal development and assign personhood to embryos and fetuses. Both bills experienced strong opposition from Iowans as Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa, Interfaith Alliance of Iowa Action Fund and the Family Planning Council of Iowa raised alarms. The measures died after being voted out of committee and surviving two funnels. 

The legislature did, however, pass bills that protect discriminatory actions and deny individual rights based on a person’s religious beliefs, and reduce visibility into a $1.5 million state program that funds anti-abortion centers—fake women’s clinics that don’t provide actual medical care. Under the guise of expanding postpartum care, Gov. Kim Reynolds also expanded Medicaid coverage from four to 12 months postpartum, but increased income thresholds to qualify, meaning thousands of Iowans will no longer be covered. 

“Despite overstepping politicians, Iowans were able to block harmful legislation this session—proof that when Iowans lean into the values of the majority, we can change our state,” said Mazie Stilwell, Director of Public Affairs at Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa. “But this legislative session laid bare the obsessive nature of the Governor and state leaders’ work to push unpopular policies that are out of touch with the people they serve. A growing number of Iowans still cannot access the essential health care they so desperately need. We are one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to health outcomes—and they are only getting worse. This legislative session did nothing to advance our state. Now is the time for Iowans to hold their elected officials accountable at the ballot box, so we can begin to rebuild health care in Iowa.”  

Abortion remains safe and legal in Iowa as a six-week abortion ban works its way through the courts. The State asked the Iowa Supreme Court to allow the law to take effect. A decision can happen at any time and is expected by the end of June when the Court’s term ends.  

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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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