Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) said Monday that he had directed state agencies to review the government funding of programs operated by Planned Parenthood in the state.
The unanimous ruling protects a practice designed to improve abortion access in rural parts of the state.
The governor of Iowa has signaled that he doesn’t want to be the sole arbiter of whether the state Medicaid program pays for certain types of abortion care, while Republican lawmakers in the state legislature seem unwilling to allow the governor to relinquish the role.
The fate of the state’s successful telemedicine abortion program could be decided this week.
On Friday, the Iowa Board of Medicine voted 8 to 2 to adopt a rule that is likely to end the state’s telemedicine abortion program.
A lawyer in Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad’s office was reportedly given advance notice that anti-choice advocates were launching a new effort to end the state’s telemedicine abortion program, leading some pro-choice activists to wonder how involved the governor’s office has been in the effort.
Iowa Right to Life is spearheading an effort to demand that the Iowa Board of Medicine “stop webcam abortions,” presenting what they say is 20,000 signatures from medical professionals.
Iowa’s anti-choice Republican governor announced Friday that he expects to sign the state’s budget into law, including a new rule that will give him complete control over federal Medicaid funding for the roughly two dozen Medicaid-eligible abortions that are performed in the state each year.
For the third time, Iowa legislators have failed to directly end abortion funding for poor women who have been victims of sexual assault. That is, if the governor agrees.