Planned Parenthood has announced that it will be forced to close four of its 12 clinics in the state of Iowa after the state's Republican governor Terry Branstad signed legislation to defund Planned Parenthood within the state.
Reuters reports that Iowa's new budget changes replace federal Medicaid funding for family planning programs with a state-run program that will not fund organizations that perform abortions. (Despite the fact that, quick reminder, abortion is only 3% of Planned Parenthood's services.)
"What is happening in Iowa is what we could see across the country if Congress passes this dangerous law to defund Planned Parenthood,” Raegan McDonald-Mosley, M.D., chief medical officer at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in a statement to Glamour. "This is hardest on people who already face barriers to accessing health care - especially people of color, young people, people with low to moderate incomes, and people who live in rural areas."
An estimated 14,600 patients throughout the state used the four clinics (which will be closed on June 30) within the last three years, and many of these patients include rural, poor women. When these clinics close, these patients could lose access to safe, affordable reproductive health care, including pap smears, STI testing and breast exams.
Unfortunately, Iowa could only be an example of what may be to come if the American Health Care Act is signed into law and replaces the Affordable Care Act. The bill includes similar legislation that would defund Planned Parenthood and other clinics that provide abortion at the federal level.