Letter to the Editor

No common sense in Iowa defunding Planned Parenthood

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Iowa Legislatureís rabid determination to defund Planned Parenthood belies common sense. Here are some facts to consider:

#1: NO state or federal dollars are used for abortions.

#2: Medicaid (not the State of Iowa) reimburses Planned Parenthood for providing covered family planning services. Services under that umbrella include birth control, STD testing, pregnancy testing and cancer screenings. Planned Parenthood provides screening for breast cancer and cervical cancer (via Pap testing), as well as uterine and other gynecologic cancers. Again, NO state or federal dollars are used for abortions.

#3: The Iowa Senate has proposed legislation that will prevent Planned Parenthood from receiving reimbursement for the family planning services named in Fact #2. Again, NO state or federal dollars are used for abortions.

#4: In Iowa, the number of abortions has dropped 23 percent since 2011, as reported by Guttmacher Institute. Nationally the abortion rate is the lowest it has been since passage of Roe v. Wade.

Researchers credit the drop in abortions to a rise in the use of contraceptives, especially long-acting reversible contraceptives. According to the Guttmacher report, the proportion of clients receiving long-acting reversible birth control - which is more effective than other forms - from Title X family planning clinics like Planned Parenthood jumped from 7 percent in 2011 to 11 percent in 2014.

Denying affordable, reliable birth control will cause the number of unintended pregnancies to rise. The resulting effect is that the number of abortions will also rise. Bottom line, if the Iowa Legislature passes Senate File 2 and defunds Planned Parenthood, the number of abortions performed in Iowa will rise. Is this really what anyone wants to see happen?

Itís urgent that you contact your legislators now, before itís too late.