Funding For Abortions and Abortion Providers Continues
Late last night and early this morning, the Health and Human Services (HHS) budget passed both the Iowa House and Senate. Both chambers have adjourned for the Session. Unfortunately, the Health and Human Services budget continues to fund abortions, and abortion clinics like Planned Parenthood and others. We are very disappointed that the House did not put up a stronger fight against the Senate. However, 11 Republicans in the House stayed strong and voted against the bill, and all 24 Republicans voted against it in the Senate. The bill passed the House 80-17 and the Senate 26-24. Thank you to the Senate Republicans for staying strong!
We want to send extra gratitude to the 11 Republicans in the House who voted against this bill and against a majority of their own party members. These Representatives showed great commitment and bravery by saying, “We will no longer fund abortions or abortionists with Iowans’ hard-earned tax dollars. We do not care how long we have to stay here or if it costs us our job, we will not vote against our conscience.”
Here are the 11 heroes:
Rep. Tom Shaw
Rep. Larry Sheets
Rep. Jason Schultz
Rep. Dwayne Alons
Rep. Greg Heartsill
Rep. Sandy Salmon
Rep. Ted Gassman
Rep. Dean Fisher
Rep. Ralph Watts
Rep. Julian Garrett
Rep. Mark Brandenburg
The final compromise on the HHS Budget did take a small step in the right direction: it moved the reimbursements for Medicaid-paid abortions to the office of the Governor. The state of Iowa on average pays for 25 abortions a year through Medicaid reimbursements. Governor Branstad now has the ability to no longer reimburse for those expenses. This provision does allow for the possibility of tax money no longer going to abortions. However, it only lasts for two years, it still does not forbid tax money paying for these Medicaid reimbursed abortions, and it does nothing to end the millions of dollars abortion providers receive from family planning grants. That is why we stayed past midnight last night encouraging members to vote No on this compromise language.
We do thank Iowa House Republicans for taking initial steps to end tax payers’ dollars going to abortions and abortionists. We are disappointed they did not continue the fight. The House could not see a path to victory in the Senate. They only saw the Senate stubbornly holding out to keep the funding for abortionists, and pushing the government into partial shutdown. They then saw the media demonizing them, and losing in the public’s perception. One House member told us he felt he got the best he could get.
We do believe that many Republicans in the House desired to end tax payers’ money going to abortionists, and we understand their frustrations with the Senate. However, Gosnell changed everything. Over 90 phone calls were going into the Iowa Senate every day, encouraging them to end taxpayer funding of abortions and abortionists. Our grassroots literature dropped in 6 Senate districts over the weekend. We were seeing the Senate Democrats cracking, but the House did not see it the same way. Instead they left with what they felt was the best they could get and we just could not support what they ended with. It is time to draw the line in the sand and say we will no longer fund abortions and anyone who provides them, even if it costs us the election.
Please thank and encourage those who stood strong. Pray for them. Also pray that others will join them. There were a lot more who were close to joining them that just need a little bit more encouragement. Even though we lost this fight, we are very encouraged by what is going on in the Iowa Legislature. God is working. He has raised up an amazing freshman class, and more and more legislators are getting bold and willing to fight. Pray that His work continues. We look forward to seeing what God has for us next year.
We were also very pleased with the expansion of parental choice in private education this Session, and will elaborate in future reports.
Serving Him and you,
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