Iowa Republican leaders seek to end publicly funded abortions

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October 8, 2012


By Greg Janetka

DES MOINES, Iowa: Depending on the outcome of this year's legislative elections, Iowa could see the end of publicly funded abortions. Republicans currently hold a comfortable majority in the state House and only need to pick up two seats to gain a majority in the state Senate. If they can pick up that chamber as well, GOP leaders say they will end the funding.[1]

After the issue led to partisan deadlock, the Legislature adjourned their 2012 session in May without finishing their work on human services funding. Republican representatives had passed an amendment to the human services budget bill this year that would have ended taxpayer-financed abortions. Under current state law, exceptions are provided for abortions in cases of rape, incest, fetal deformity or to save the life of the mother.[1]

Republicans plan to reintroduce the amendment in January and, if they are able to take the Senate in November, it would have an all but easy passage as Gov. Terry Branstad (R) has pledged his support.[1]

On the same day that Republicans made the announcement, a new report on Iowa pregnancy and abortion rates was released by The Center for Global Reproductive Health at the University of California, San Francisco. According to the report, which was commissioned by the Iowa Initiative to Reduce Unintended Pregnancies, the number of abortions in the state had dropped by 24 percent since 2006.[2]

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