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Branstad: Don't Fund Abortion Providers

Photo by John Pemble
Governor Terry Branstad

A controversial measure to defund Planned Parenthood because the organization performs abortions is again under consideration at the statehouse, with the blessing of Governor Branstad. 

Republicans have added the measure to a human services budget bill, setting up a showdown with Democratic critics.   

The governor won’t comment on the specific legislation, but at his weekly news conference he made his views clear.

“I've made a recommendation that is consistent with what House Republicans have been working on the last couple of years,” Branstad said.  “The idea is to provide family planning money in a way that doesn't fund abortion providers.” 

Anti-abortion activists sponsored bills in several states after President Obama vetoed federal legislation to defund Planned Parenthood.

“It’s a way to provide the services for needy women at the same time not getting into that controversy,” Branstad said.   “I'm hopeful it will be approved by this general assembly.”

Similar measures have delayed adjournment of the Iowa legislature in the past.  

Criticism of Planned Parenthood gained momentum after activists recorded videos alleging that the organization sold fetal tissue to researchers in violation of federal law.  Several investigations produced no evidence that Planned Parenthood acted illegally.