Changes to Iowa Medicaid Abortion Rules Untested

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad (R) speaks during a press conference on Thursday, July 18, 2013, in Des Moines, Iowa. (KCCI-TV Des Moines)

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By KCRG Intern

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's new policy that the governor must sign off on reimbursement approval for Medicaid-funded abortions remains untested one month in.

Tim Albrecht, a spokesman for Gov. Terry Branstad, says no reimbursement claims for abortions have been submitted since the rule took effect July 1.

Branstad signed the law, which is thought to be unique to Iowa, in June.

Iowa's Medicaid program covers a small number of abortions each year due to rape, incest, fetal deformity or to protect a mother's life. Albrecht declined to answer questions about the criteria Branstad will use.

Jill June, president of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, said she thought there should be more clarity, arguing that "otherwise the public is left to wonder if the governor is in a good mood or not."

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