Planned Parenthood sues Iowa over sex education fund denial

Iowa News
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FILE – This April 19, 2019, file photo shows a Planned Parenthood building in Houston. A federal appeals court is about to again take up the issue of whether and how states can cut off federal Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood. Arguments are set for Tuesday, May 14. (Godofredo A Vasquez/Houston Chronicle via AP, File)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A lawsuit challenging a new Iowa law that prohibits federal funding to be used by Planned Parenthood to teach sex education has been filed against Gov. Kim Reynolds and the state.

On the last day of the legislative session, Republican legislators pushed through language in a budget bill that banned Planned Parenthood of the Heartland from receiving money from two federal grants that have been paying for youth sex education programs.

It was the latest effort by conservative lawmakers to end all streams of government funding for the organization, which as part of its family planning efforts also performs abortions. They said other organizations could provide the information.

Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the measure into law May 3.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa filed the lawsuit Wednesday in state court in Des Moines for Planned Parenthood. It seeks to block the law temporarily until a court can consider whether it’s constitutional.

The lawsuit argues the law violates the organization’s free speech, due process and equal protection rights.

Reynolds spokesman Pat Garrett says, “Governor Reynolds is 100% pro-life and believes taxpayer dollars shouldn’t fund an organization that provides abortion.”

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