Blocking Iowa Rape Victims From Abortions “Mean-Spirited” Says ACLU


The Iowa chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is calling out a petition being pushed by anti-choice lawmakers in the state to remove all exceptions to a ban on public funding for abortions for poor women — yes, even for rape, incest, fetal anomalies and health of the woman.

Via Iowa Politics:

“The petitioners ask the department to withhold medical coverage from women who have been raped or whose pregnancy has taken a catastrophic turn,” Ben Stone, American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa executive director, said in a press release. “It doesn’t get more mean-spirited than that…. It is shockingly callous that these politicians would try to compound the trauma of rape or incest by depriving a woman who becomes pregnant the ability to make the best decision for her circumstances, whether that decision is raising a child, adoption, or abortion.”

The ACLU isn’t the only one calling out the petitioners, either.

“The lack of compassion for a woman who has already been through the trauma of rape or incest is reprehensible. Forcing her to continue a pregnancy as a result of a violent crime simply because she doesn’t have the financial resources to pay for an abortion is cruel,” Jill June, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, said in a statement. “Rape and incest do not discriminate based upon a woman’s financial situation, and our laws shouldn’t either…It is unconscionable that these lawmakers, blinded by their ideological views to ban abortion, would rather jeopardize all of Iowa’s Medicaid funding than reimburse a victim of rape or incest for abortion.”

Iowa politicians attempted to make a ban part of the law during this year’s session — almost bringing the entire legislature to a halt over it — but eventually failed to pass it.  Now, they are petitioning the Department of Health by asking for an “emergency” rule change.

According to the ACLU, the state paid for 22 abortions during the last fiscal year.

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