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Lawmakers discuss challenged books and Reynolds' healthcare bill

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer and IPR reporter Grant Gerlock talk with House Oversight Committee Chair Republican Rep. Brooke Boden and ranking Democratic member Rep. Lindsay James about a series of special hearings they've held in February regarding book challenges. The Iowa Senate has passed a bill out of subcommittee that would ban certain instruction regarding gender identity and the House has resurrected a bill from last session that would require schools to make public curriculum materials and book lists, and provide parents a form to request removing books from the school library.

Later in the episode, Kieffer and IPR Health Reporter Natalie Krebs talk about Governor Reynolds' healthcare bill which includes provisions to address rural hospitals and a lack of providers, as well as providing $2 million to the More Options for Maternal Support program created last session and crisis pregnancy centers that don't endorse, perform or refer clients for abortions. The bill also would allow women 18 years and older to receive prescription-free birth control from a pharmacy.


  • Rep. Brooke Boden, Republican from Indianola
  • Rep. Lindsay James, Democrat from Dubuque, House Minority Whip
  • Rep. Devon Wood, Republican from New Market
  • Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, Democrat from Ames
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Samantha McIntosh is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio. Prior to IPR, Samantha worked as a reporter for radio stations in southeast and west central Iowa under M&H Broadcasting, and before that she was a weekend music host for GO 96.3 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.