Iowa’s Supreme Court said Wednesday that the state may not allow Scheduled Parents to conduct federal-funded sex education programs, overturning a judge’s decision last year that the law was unconstitutional.
The Iowa Supreme Court found the 2019 law passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature unconstitutional and rejected Heartland’s Planned Parenthood Act, which violated his right to equal protection and did not serve the interests of any reasonable legitimate government.
State Court Judge Paul Scott ruled in May 2020 that the Scheduled Parents’ Court could win a claim for his equal protection, and he blocked the enforcement of the law. The state appealed.
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Six judges appointed by Republican governors have agreed that the Iowa Legislature may raise concerns that allowing an abortion provider to provide sex education could undermine its goals of promoting abstinence and reducing teenage pregnancies. .
“The state may also be concerned that using abortion providers in the delivery of sex education programs to adolescent students could create a relationship between the abortion provider and the students, as the state is more likely to give birth than abortion. in terms of preferred policy. ” fair judges, in a statement written by Justice Dana Oxley, the appointee of Governor Kim Reynolds, who signed the law.
The court concluded that the planned parent’s abortion practice was not affected by the state’s refusal to pay for sex education programs.
Justice Brent Appel, the court’s sole Democratic appointee, disagreed, saying that “the Legislature is trying to indirectly implement this statute through unconstitutional circumstances, i.e., to infringe on the right to abortion.”
The law allows first-time abortion providers to receive sex education in the Iowa Department of Human Services and the Iowa Department of Health’s Personal Responsibility Education Program and the Women’s Pregnancy Prevention Public Program. prohibited the receipt of grant funds for training.
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Planned Parents have been receiving funding for several years. As a condition of the grants, recipients are required to use state-selected training materials that do not allow abortion to be discussed. The use of funds for programs to support abortion-related services is prohibited. In this case, the state agreed that planned parents did not use grant funds for abortion-related services and did not discuss abortion as part of educational programs.
In any case, the court concluded that the Legislature could pass the law “out of concern that if the state’s main provider of abortion, PPH, provides state-sponsored sex education programs, its message may be diminished.”
The Planned Parents statement said it had received funding since 2005 and used an Iowa-approved curriculum to provide sex education to tens of thousands of Iowa youth. The organization currently provides sex education in more than 30 schools across Iowa and community-based youth service organizations.
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“We are disappointed that we supported the law because we understand the harm to Iowa residents because of this decision. To provide Iowans with sex education and adolescent pregnancy prevention programs, they include Planned Parenthood in their daily lives. “We have the honor to support you,” said Rita Bettis Austin, legal director of the Civil Liberties Association of Iowa.
In a statement, Reynolds called the court’s decision “a strong statement in support of the idea that taxpayers’ dollars should not fund abortion.” He said he was “proud to be a vital governor who protects all innocent lives.”