Debate continues over state funding for Planned Parenthood

Published: Feb. 3, 2017 at 11:25 PM CST
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A handful of people shouted in favor of Planned Parenthood in Cedar Rapids on Friday afternoon. For two hours, a group stood at the corner of 1st. Ave. and 35th Street, protesting a move by the Iowa Senate.

Thursday night, the Iowa Senate passed a bill that would block state funding to Planned Parenthood and other organizations that perform abortions. Protestors worry the health of Iowans will suffer as a result.

""Very disappointed. Having used Planned Parenthood's services in the past, I understand how it is. People from all walks of life come to Planned Parenthood, male and female," said rally organizer Ann Ewoldt.

The bill passed along party lines, 30 to 20. Republican supporters said it won't limit access to women's healthcare because it would create a state funded family service program. Democrats say it's unclear how the G-O-P plans to pay for that, and call the bill horrible.

Cedar Rapids Republican Ashley Hinson still hasn't decided how she'll vote on the measure. Hinson recently told a voters' forum that she has used Planned Parenthood services in the past and she needed more time to study the bill.

"I have taken a lot of heat for that comment, on both sides of the argument. I think that means I'm doing my job. My approach has always been to consider all the sides to a story. That's something I campaigned on. That's something I am trying to do now," said Hinson.

The bill will likely pass in the House with or without Hinson's support. Governor Branstad is expected to sign it.