Contact: Allison Smith, Interim Executive Director, (515)288-9028
Des Moines, IA – The Family Planning Council of Iowa (FPCI), a federal Title X Family Planning Program grantee that funds safety-net family planning health centers across Iowa, condemns the state legislature’s decision to restrict bodily autonomy through a harmful and deeply consequential “Fetal Heartbeat” bill. This legislation effectively bans abortions at approximately six weeks after a pregnant person’s last menstrual period, putting the health and lives of people across Iowa at risk, and disproportionately impacting Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, LGBTQ+ people, people with disabilities, people with no or low incomes, and young people. The erosion of abortion access in this country is part of a decades-long effort to nullify a pregnant person’s autonomy and take away people’s ability to make decisions about their health, lives, and future. While no amount of funding for or access to contraception will ever negate the need for abortion, one critical aspect of our response must be expanding access to quality, affordable birth control.
Over the past few years, the continued attacks against reproductive healthcare and family planning services at the state and federal levels have increased STI rates and unplanned pregnancies in Iowa. On behalf of the family planning provider network across Iowa, we urge the legislature to pass policies that expand access to reproductive health, not diminish it. The clinics in our state offer a broad range of essential sexual and reproductive healthcare services, including STI screening and treatment, birth control counseling and prescriptions, cancer-preventing HPV vaccinations, and abortion care.
FPCI supports access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive healthcare, including abortion. Abortion care is an essential health service that must be not only legal but also affordable and accessible to all people who seek it, and one that clinicians must be able to provide without facing civil or criminal penalties or threats to their or their patients’ safety. We envision an Iowa where sexual and reproductive health results from education, autonomy, and access to high-quality care for all. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to create the future they want, including if, when, and under what circumstances to get pregnant.