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Planned Parenthood's Withdrawal From Title X Could Affect Thousands Of Iowans

Natalie Krebs/IPR
Iowa Planned Parenthood President Erin Davison-Rippey met with Cindy Axne, a Democrat representing Iowa's 3rd Congressional District, on Friday morning

Nearly 14,000 Iowans could be affected by Planned Parenthood's decision to withdraw from a the Title X federal family planning program, which funds family planning services for low-income individuals, according to local leaders from the health clinic.

At a Des Moines Planned Parenthood Clinic on Friday, Iowa Executive Director Erin Davison-Rippey said six of the eight clinics in Iowa provide services through the program.

Davison-Rippey said the health clinic will try to find other ways to provide financial assistance for the state’s low-income patients.

"We will, you know, help them work through if there are any other programs that they might qualify for that would help cover their services," she said. "And, you know, some people may have some insurance that would help them cover those services."

Davison-Rippey said she’s concerned that other providers won't be able to pick up the program.

"That organization who takes on a program like Title X also has to do things like fundraising, and, you know, it doesn't cover the entire cost of care. So there's still a burden on that provider," she said.

Cindy Axne, a Democrat representing Iowa's 3rd Congressional District, toured the Des Moines facility on Friday to find out more about the decision's impact on Iowans. 

"We're not doing what we need to do to help people have better health," Axne said. "As a matter of fact, the  administration in our state and at a federal level is doing everything they possibly can to limit people from living healthy lives."

Planned Parenthood announced earlier this week that it will withdraw from the Title X program while a new rule imposed by the Trump administration faces legal challenges. The so-called “gag rule” that prohibits grantees from providing or referring patients to abortion services except in the case of rape or incest. 

Natalie Krebs is IPR's Health Reporter