Refuting the governor’s talking points

Many of you have contacted Governor Branstad’s office urging he keep his promise to defund Planned Parenthood.

UPDATE: Perhaps you’ve heard Branstad’s most recent excuse that he doesn’t have a good enough legal “reason” or “cause” to defund Planned Parenthood.

Here’s our response to that claim:

As if the 10 videos from the Center for Medical Progress exposing Planned Parenthood’s deception of patients and trafficking in human body parts aren’t enough cause, a recent letter from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal to Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad – coupled with a pending case investigating Planned Parenthood of the Heartland for Medicaid fraud – only reinforces the argument that Branstad has more than sufficient cause to defund Planned Parenthood in Iowa.

“At my direction, [the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals] notified Planned Parenthood of Gulf Coast of the termination of their Medicaid contract with the state of Louisiana, for cause,” states Jindal’s letter to Branstad, dated Sept. 23, 2015. “I encourage you to … take similar action in your state as well.”

The full text of the letter can be found by clicking here.

“Yes, Governor, you can defund Planned Parenthood in Iowa,” says Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of The FAMiLY LEADER Foundation.

“Branstad claims he has no legal ’cause’ for cutting off Planned Parenthood’s funding. That’s simply not true,” continues Vander Plaats. “He has been given an extensive legal briefing demonstrating ample cause. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland is currently under investigation for allegedly committing $28 million in Medicaid fraud right here in Iowa. How is an open, pending case investigating Planned Parenthood for scamming state and federal taxpayers not sufficient legal ground to suspend their contracts and Medicaid provider eligibility?

In fact, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Iowa Department of Inspections & Appeals has confirmed the investigative case against Planned Parenthood of the Heartland is still open and pending.

“According to the Guzman v. Shewry [2008, U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit] case,” adds attorney Chuck Hurley, chief counsel for The FAMiLY LEADER Foundation, “Gov. Branstad now has full legal authority to immediately terminate Planned Parenthood of the Heartland as a Medicaid provider in Iowa.”

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Many of you have also likely received a form letter in return that begins, “Thank you for contacting the Governor’s office and expressing your concerns …” or heard his office make public statements based on the same letter’s messaging.

Here’s what you need to know about that letter:

This form letter the governor’s office has been sending out for weeks is little more than a smokescreen, as it doesn’t even begin to answer the question of whether Branstad will or won’t stop the millions of taxpayer dollars that funnel into Planned Parenthood in Iowa each year.

Let’s examine each of the letter’s primary rebuttals to your demand he defund Planned Parenthood.

1. “Defunding Planned Parenthood cannot happen with a line item veto”

Yes, that’s correct, Governor. But that’s not what we asked. We demand state contracts with Planned Parenthood be canceled for cause and Planned Parenthood’s eligibility as a Medicaid provider be terminated. You don’t need a veto to do that.

2. “Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds have ensured that Planned Parenthood is never reimbursed for an abortion.”

No, Planned Parenthood simply takes in millions of taxpayer dollars each year to pay for everything else, so they can use the funds that would otherwise pay for overhead on abortions instead. We pay the light bill, so they have more money to pay for their abortion activities. Your assurance, Governor, means nothing.

3. “… and … have asked the Iowa Department of Public Health to thoroughly review the funding the legislature appropriated for the Family Planning Block Grant to ensure it does not and will not ever fund abortions …”

See point No. 2 above. And the delay tactic here is not commendable.

While you dally with your “review” of this or the other, Medicaid dollars are still pumping life into Planned Parenthood.

You have the backing of the people, Governor. You have the backing of your party. And Planned Parenthood of the Heartland is already under investigation for Medicaid fraud in Iowa. So you have what you need to cancel the contracts and terminate Planned Parenthood as a Medicaid provider in Iowa.

Please, Governor: Don’t brush us off with meaningless assurances. Keep your Promise. Defund Planned Parenthood now.

Thank you for contacting Governor Branstad and making your voice heard! Are your ready now to really turn up the heat? Your support of the “Keep Your Promise” campaign will spread the message through more and more channels until Planned Parenthood is defunded in Iowa. Click here to help make it happen!