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GOP Lawmakers Limit Health Decisions for Women

June 12, 2017 11:00 am by: Category: 2017 Session Information, Featured, Health Care, Recent News Leave a comment A+ / A-

Iowa women will face new restrictions on difficult medical decisions next year while also having less access to family planning and cancer screening services.

In the closing days of the legislative session, Republicans passed legislation that will leave thousands of Iowa women without access to critical health care services, like cancer screenings, birth control, and STD tests.The bill approved rejects millions in federal funds used to reimburse health care clinics and providers for key medical services for women by ending the Medicaid Family Planning Waiver. One health care clinic in Decorah has already announced it will close its doors later this year.

Despite strong opposition from Iowans who believe medical decisions are best left to a woman, her family, and her doctor, Republican lawmakers also approved new restrictions this year to require a pregnant woman after 20 weeks to continue her pregnancy to full term, even if a physician determines that the fetus has a congenital defect and will not survive after being born. The bill does include very narrow exceptions for the health and life of the mother, but does not allow for any exceptions in the cases of rape or incest.

Another aspect of the bill requires a woman to wait at least seventy-two hours to obtain an abortion service in Iowa. The physician must also provide her with specific information that may not be applicable to her health or situation.

The Governor is expected to sign both bills.

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