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Genuine Justice: New Bills About Reproductive Justice in Iowa

It’s the beginning of the new legislative season, and things have been off to a rocky start across the nation. Some of the most horrifying policy measures have been passed through the Executive branch by He Who Must Not Be Named, but the Legislative branch is sure to start cranking out some wacky stuff as well.

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However, we cannot ignore what the individual states are up to at a time of high drama in the federal

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government. The Iowa 2017 legislative docket looks like a mixed bag. Including bills about “Stand Your Ground” laws (remember the legislation used to justify the murder of Trayvon Martin?) and various bills looking to restrict voting rights, there is legislation being introduced all across the board in terms of topics and political stances.

Here are some of the bills being introduced related to reproductive justice:

Senate File 11: Maternal Health Care for Low-Income Women

This legislation aims to establish a way for low-income women who use a Medicaid family-planning program for their pre-natal care to receive continued, comprehensive coverage after they give birth.

Senate File 2: Defunding Planned Parenthood/State-Only Family Planning Program

Connected to the tirade about defunding Planned Parenthood, this bill aims to take Planned Parenthood clinics out of the Medicaid-approved health care provider networks. This means that people with Medicaid would not be able to get their care from Planned Parenthood covered. This would be a substantial blow to our local Planned Parenthood’s security, because it could mean that they lose a large group of their patients.

Senate File 53: Abortion Prohibitions

This bill prevents anyone from having a legal, safe abortion after 20 weeks, unless the “unborn baby’s life” is in danger. You read that right: not in case the woman’s life is in danger. No, that would be too humane. This bill protects the fetus and not the woman/ fetal container.

Senate File 67: Oral Hormonal Contraceptives

This bill would let pharmacists prescribe and then sell women hormonal birth control pills regardless of whether or not they have a prescription from a doctor.

Senate File 27: Abortion Funding Restrictions

This bill prohibits people from using federal health care reform money (like Obamacare subsidies) to pay for an abortion in Iowa. It also prohibits using any federal health care reform money to pay for insurance plans that may cover abortion, regardless of whether or not someone actually uses that plan to pay for an abortion.

Senate File 52: Fetal Body Parts

A person shall not knowingly acquire, provide, receive, otherwise transfer, or use a fetal body part in this state, regardless of whether the acquisition, provision, receipt, transfer, or use is for valuable consideration”. This bill was introduced by Brad Zaun. Brad, you do know those videos about Planned Parenthood and “selling fetuses” was completely fake right???? No? You’re still thinkin’ ’bout it? How did you even get elected???

So what should you do with all this information? 

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Here is a way to find your local representative’s contact information. If you care about women’s bodily autonomy you should let your representative know what you think about these bills!


Genuine Justice is a column about reproductive justice focusing on current events, historical perspectives and racism in women’s healthcare.