On Friday, April 26, the Iowa Senate introduced an amendment to HF 766 (the Health and Human Services budget bill). The amendment (S-3247) would exclude transition-related medical services for transgender Iowans from all insurance coverage funded by public dollars, including Medicaid, and prevent Planned Parenthood from engaging in competitive bidding for certain sexual education grants.
One Iowa Action Executive Director Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel condemned the amendment in a statement:
“Protecting transgender people from discrimination is settled law in Iowa, and has been since 2007. The Iowa Supreme Court made clear that the Iowa Civil Rights Act protects transgender Iowans against Medicaid discrimination in their unanimous ruling just over one month ago. In response, a small group of legislators want to pick and choose who deserves protections under the law, and it’s clear they think of transgender Iowans as second-class citizens. This amendment is a harmful attempt to deny transgender Iowans medically necessary care, and it will not stand up to legal muster.
The methods that legislators are using to introduce this extreme proposal are deeply troubling. It should go through the full legislative process, giving Iowans a chance to comment and make their voices heard. Instead, they’ve snuck it into an amendment to a large budget bill in the final moments of legislative session. It’s clear that these legislators know they are doing something shameful.
This amendment also includes language that would jeopardize young Iowans’ access to sex education by defunding Planned Parenthood. All young people, including LGBTQ youth, deserve the sex education and health care they need to stay healthy and plan their future.
Seven out of ten Iowans support public funding for Planned Parenthood’s non-abortion services, and lawmakers who have personal objections to Planned Parenthood are pushing against the will of their constituents to remove young people’s access to essential sex education. We urge all members of the Iowa Legislature to reject this amendment.”