Advertisement

Judge rules Iowa’s ban on funding for Planned Parenthood’s sex education programs is unconstitutional

  • 333
    Shares

The Cedar Rapids Planned Parenthood Health Center, shown Friday, Nov. 18, 2016. — Lauren Shotwell/Little Village

A state district court judge has struck down as unconstitutional Iowa’s ban on Planned Parenthood of the Heartland (PPH) receiving public grant money to provide sex education programs in the state.

“The Act has no valid, ‘realistically conceivable’ purpose that serves a legitimate government interest as it is both irrationally overinclusive and under-inclusive,” Judge Paul Scott wrote in his decision issued on Thursday. “The Act violates PPH’s right to equal protection under the law and is therefore unconstitutional.”

Republican leaders in the Iowa legislature introduced the funding ban on Planned Parenthood, and other organizations that provide abortion services, from receiving grant money awarded by the state for sex education programs into the budget bill for the Iowa Department of Human Services during the final days of the 2019 legislative session. The lawmakers invoked a seldom-used legislative procedure that prevented any effort to remove the provision. Gov. Kim Reynolds could have used her line-item veto to remove the ban when she signed the bill into law on May 3, but chose not to.

PPH uses that grant money to provide sex education programs in 31 schools and 12 community-based, youth-service organizations across the state. In some Iowa counties, PPH is the sole provider such programs.

The ACLU of Iowa filed a lawsuit on behalf of PPH shortly after Reynolds signed the bill into law. A district court judge issued an injunction stopping the ban before it could eliminate the funding.

“Today’s decision ensures that teens and young adults across Iowa will continue to have access to medically accurate sex education programs, despite the narrow and reckless policies of anti-abortion lawmakers,” Erin Davison-Rippey, Iowa Executive Director of Planned Parenthood North Central States, said in a statement on Thursday.

Gov. Reynolds’ office has not yet responded to requests for comment on Judge Scott’s decision, or indicated if they will appeal the ruling.


  • 333
    Shares
Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV » editor@littlevillagemag.com

Advertisement

Summer Programs 2020

Get 150+ local restaurants delivered to your door in the Iowa City & Cedar Rapids areas!

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.

Regular

$10/mo or $120/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.

Italic

$20/mo or $240/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.

Bold

$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
LittleVillageMag.com connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.