Brenna Bird claims pause on paying for rape victims’ contraception remains under review

July 29, 2023 by No Comments

The office of Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird is currently assessing the possibility of permanently discontinuing the long-standing practice of funding emergency contraception and, in rare cases, abortions for victims of sexual assault.

Upon assuming office in January, Republican Attorney General Bird suspended these payments, which were previously in place under the administration of the Democrat former Attorney Tom Miller. Bird has clarified that this suspension is part of a broader evaluation of the state’s victim services programs.

During an episode of “Iowa Press” on Iowa PBS, Bird seemed to suggest that the change would be permanent, stating, “We did pause payments to entities like Planned Parenthood and others that were being reimbursed for abortions and for Plan B. However, those services still remain available under Iowa law to victims, it’s just whether public funds will pay for them.”

Following the interview, Alyssa Brouillet, a spokesperson for the attorney general, clarified that Bird did not indicate a final decision on whether the state will cover emergency contraceptives for assault victims. Instead, Brouillet explained that Bird meant the ultimate decision resulting from the ongoing audit would be permanent.

It is worth noting that Bird is a staunch opponent of abortion and her office is currently defending a newly enacted state law in court, which seeks to prohibit almost all abortions after approximately six weeks of pregnancy, once cardiac activity is detectable in the embryo.

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