Measuring the impact of defunding Planned Parenthood in Iowa

Local News

Planned Parenthood has been under fire in recent months since a series of videos surfaced online, allegedly showing employees discussing the sale of fetal tissue.

The nationwide health provider denies the allegations and meantime – as the battle for the organization’s funding continues – those who depend on Planned Parenthood for affordable care are voicing their need for healthcare.

In Iowa, that’s more than 38,000 patients according to Suzanna de Baca, who oversees 18 Midwest clinics. She said, “State and federal funding is very important to Planned Parenthood, that helps us support low-income individuals with family planning services, well-women exams, basic pap smears, and reproductive and sexual healthcare.”
Kimberly Long, a Planned Parenthood patient, said, “My experience has been it’s just about being safer and healthier and I don’t know why you wouldn’t want that for young people.”
For Long, sharing her story is one way to ensure others experience the care that inspired her to become a nurse.
Care she hopes a future daughter can access.
Long said, “I think I am a success story of Planned Parenthood. I feel that I’m healthy and ready to plan for a family now because I’ve had that access, so I feel like this is my responsibility. They’ve given me incredible, compassionate care for over a decade.”
Abortions account for two percent of Planned Parenthood’s Iowa services, with two clinics carrying out the procedures. And, according to the Iowa Coalition for Life, that number is heartbreaking.
Sue Martinek, with the Iowa Coalition for Life, said, “Everyone is important. One is not more important than the other and we need to stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves.”
That’s why Martinek and other members of the Coalition gathered outside a Cedar Rapids clinic to pray. They say any organization providing abortions shouldn’t receive any taxpayer dollars, regardless of how the money is used.
Senator Joni Ernst is one of three lawmakers leading the charge for oversight from the Department of Health and Human Services – specifically for fetal tissue collection.  
During a recent statement to the press, Ernst said, “We have not received the assurance I would like to see, a full audit of materials and how it’s being gathered, collected, and distributed. I have not seen that yet, but I will continue pressing for that information.”
Planned Parenthood says regular audits ensure all clinics follow the law and procedures, including the steps after an abortion.

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