A group of 41 Republican lawmakers in Iowa filed a petition with the state's Department of Human Services this week, seeking to end government funded abortions in the state. The petition argues that funding abortions through Medicaid in cases of rape or incest violates state laws and the funding should be declared illegal. Under the Hyde Amendment of 1976, federal funds cannot be used for abortions, unless it is to save the life of the woman or in cases of rape or incest. According to the Des Moines Register, Iowa receives $1.8 billion annually from Medicaid and the petition could jeopardize this funding.
State Senator Jack Hatch (D), chair of the joint Health and Human Services Appropriations Sub-Committee, said, "This is a pure political strategy by them to keep their social agenda alive during the election. I can't remember when this has happened in the past." Elizabeth Nash, state issues manager at the Guttmacher institute, said that a woman who requires an abortion to save her life often cannot afford the procedure, saying, "Scraping together that funding can be incredibly difficult when you're talking hundreds and hundreds of dollars. On top of that, it's just absolutely the right thing to for public health purposes.
Currently, South Dakota is the only state that does not allow Medicaid funding of abortions and has not allowed this funding for the past 36 years. The law persists in South Dakota because no one with standing, the legal term for a person who has been harmed by the law, has brought a legal challenge. The Iowa Department of Human Services must respond to the petition by August 10, and can either dismiss it or advance it to the Administrative Rules Review Committee.
Media Resources: Des Moines Register 6/19/12; ThinkProgress 6/19/12; Care2 6/19/12
1/23/2015 #HeForShe Campaign Launches Pilot Effort Aimed at Institutional Equality - The United Nations' gender equality campaign #HeForShe has launched a new program called IMPACT 10X10X10.
United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, together with UN Women Executive DirectorPhumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, introduced the one-year pilot effort aimed at encouraging corporations, universities, and governments to play an active role in enhancing women's empowerment and equality in Davos, Switzerland today at the World Economic Forum.
"Women need to be equal participants in our homes, societies, in our governments, and in our workplaces," Watson said.
First introduced in September, HeForShe is a solidarity movement that calls on men and boys to confront gender inequalities that face women and girls globally. . . .
1/22/2015 BREAKING: House to Vote on Abortion Coverage Ban - After they were forced to scrap plans for a 20-week abortion ban, House Republican leaders decided late last night to instead ram through a vote today on a different extreme anti-abortion bill.
House Republicans are now pushing HR 7, a bill promoted as a ban on federal funding of abortion that would actually prevent women from using their own money to purchase health insurance that includes abortion care. . . .
1/22/2015 House Cancels Abortion Ban After GOP Congresswomen Drop Support - House Republicans cancelled plans to vote on a 20-week ban on abortion after Republican Congresswomen removed their names publicly as co-sponsors of the bill.
The vote on the unconstitutional 20-week ban had originally been scheduled for today, the anniversary of Roe v. . . .