Gov. Reynolds signs health budget bill which includes cuts

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed a budget bill that prohibits the use of Medicaid funding to pay for sex-reassignment surgery and the use of federal funding for Planned Parenthood sex education programs.

The Republican governor signed the Health and Human Services funding bill on Friday and opted not to issue a line item veto of the ban on public funding for such surgeries.

Conservative Republicans added the prohibition in the closing days of the Legislature, saying it was a response to a recent Iowa Supreme Court decision that said the state couldn't deny two transgender women Medicaid coverage for sex-reassignment surgery.

Daniel Hoffmann-Zinnell, executive director of the civil rights group One Iowa Action, said that by signing the bill, Reynolds "tarnished Iowa's reputation as a state that stands for fairness and equality."

The bill also cuts $260 thousand from sex education programs that Planned Parenthood provided.

The measure does pay for addiction treatment as well as programs for children with mental health problems, elderly Iowans and people with brain injuries.