Archive for January 22, 2006
What’s Good about Choice in Iowa?
top off Blog for Iowa’s contribution to Blog for Choice day, here is a
round-up of some of the positive choice-related things in Iowa that our
few remaining freedoms still bring us, in alphabetical order.
Cyclones for Choice:
The first and only pro-choice campus organization at Iowa State
University. Cyclones for Choice meet every first and third Sunday
of the month from 8 – 9 pm at the Sloss House Center on campus in
Ames. And they’ve got a terribly crude bang-up slogan to
boot! Too suggestive to print on Blog for Iowa. Click here
to read it!
Emma Goldman Clinic:
This Iowa City clinic promotes participatory health care, informed
decision making, client rights, advocacy for women, and expansion and
support of women's choices. Their website provides pro-choice
resources and options, information on non-surgical abortions, national
reproductive rights organizations, sexual health information resources,
eastern Iowa feminist organizations, national feminist organizations,
feminist magazines and online feminist journals. By far, this is
the most comprehensive resource list I've ever seen.
Insurance Coverage for Contraception:
Iowa law requires health insurance plans that cover prescription drugs
to provide the same coverage for contraception. If a health
insurance plan provides coverage for outpatient prescription drugs or
devices or outpatient services, it must provide coverage for Food and
Drug Administration-approved prescription contraceptive drugs or
devices and outpatient contraceptive services. (Source)
Medical Students for Choice:
This group was formed to ensure that new doctors are fully trained to
meet the reproductive health needs of women. Key issues include
addressing the provider shortage and the lack of training/coverage in
med school curricula. Iowa is included in Region 4 of the
NARAL Pro-choice Iowa:
Their mission is to develop and sustain a constituency that uses the
political process to guarantee every woman the right to make personal
decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including
preventing unintended pregnancy, choosing legal abortion, and having a
healthy pregnancy. Learn about the issues here or look up
activities/events on their calendar.
Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa:
The PPGI agency offers a full range of quality reproductive health care
services to residents in 85 Iowa counties and three counties in
Illinois through 16 medical centers and an education and resource
center. You can contact PPGI if you need medical attention
related to reproductive health and contraception.
This University of Northern Iowa student organization is an abortion
and reproductive rights advocacy organization created to serve the UNI
community. It is affiliated with NARAL Pro-choice America.
Iowa v. Pro-choice Laws
NARAL Pro-choice America
NARAL Pro-choice America Foundation gives Iowa a “C” when
it comes to laws that enable a woman’s right to control her own body,
with only 5 percent of Iowa counties actually providing abortion
Why the “C,” you ask? Here’s a round-up of Iowans and Iowa laws pertaining to choice.
Who’s Who in Iowa Choice
Pro-choice Iowans include Gov. Tom Vilsack (D), Lt. Gov. Sally Pederson (D), and the Iowa Democratic Party.
Mixed-choice Iowans include Attorney General Tom Miller (D) and the Iowa Senate.
Anti-choice Iowans include the Iowa House and the Iowa Republican Party. (Source)
Now that we’ve got the lay of the land, so to speak, let’s take a look at some important choice-related Iowa laws.
Unconstitutional Abortion Ban
an unconstitutional and unenforceable criminal ban on abortions
performed as early as 12 weeks. A court held that Iowa's ban is
unconstitutional because it imposes an undue burden on women seeking
abortions and has issued a permanent injunction prohibiting its
Public Facilities Restriction
prohibits the use of some public facilities for the performance of
abortions. Iowa law severely restricts the conditions under
which a woman can terminate a pregnancy at the University of Iowa
Refusal to Provide Medical Services
allows individuals and hospitals that are not controlled, maintained,
and supported by a public authority to refuse to provide abortion
Restrictions on Low-Income Women's Access to Abortion
prohibits public funding for abortion for women eligible for state
medical assistance for general health care except in extreme
Restrictions on Young Women's Access to Abortion
restricts young (under 18) women's access to abortion services by
mandating parental notice. Consent is not required, and only one
parent need be notified. This serves to delay any abortion
procedure by a minimum of 48 hours after written notice is provided in
that’s the GOP strategy for you: they slowly whittle away at our
rights to control our own bodies until we have no rights left.
Next up on the docket: What’s good about choice in Iowa?
Where Iowa Gubernatorial and Congressional Candidates Stand on Choice
by Linda Thieman
Blog for Iowa is joining over 200 other progressive blogs across the nation for
Blog for Choice day – the 33rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Our posts today will examine the state of
abortion laws in Iowa and where the candidates stand on the issue of
out of the gate, since this is an election year, I thought I’d take a
look at which gubernatorial and congressional candidates are
pro-choice, who amongst them thinks he has the right to control MY
body, and who is too timid to commit to this politically-charged and
yet most fundamental of all issues.
Iowa’s Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates
• Rep. Ed Fallon (D) – Pro-choice
• Sal Mohamed (D) – Pro-choice
• Vernon Weems (D) – Pro-choice
• Chet Culver (D) – Pro-choice
Patty Judge (D) – unclear; says she is pro-choice in the Planned
Parenthood poll, but in 1998, as a member of the Iowa Senate, she voted
for a bill banning certain vaguely defined abortion procedures with no
exception for the woman’s health.
Mike Blouin (D) – anti-choice; would not commit to an answer
on the PP poll; however, Blouin, as a member of Congress in 1975 and 1977,
proposed amendments to the U.S. Constitution outlawing abortion. Got to hand it to him, though, for actually addressing the issue on his campaign website – sort of.
the Democratic gubernatorial candidates (except Yackle, who did not
respond) support: 1) public funding to Planned Parenthood for
family planning services and 2) teaching responsible, comprehensive,
medically accurate sex education in public schools.
Iowa’s 1st Congressional District
[Rep. Nussle (R) is vacating, leaving this seat open.]
• Bruce Braley (D) – Pro-choice; a solid progressive.
• Bill Gluba (D) – Anti-choice; too bad, an otherwise solid, progressive anti-war candidate.
Rick Dickinson (D) – This guy is so slippery on the issue of
choice, it’s like sleeping on satin sheets. Can’t get any
Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District
David Loebsack (D) – Pro-choice; one of our own, whom, when I
asked if he were pro-choice, responded, “Of COURSE I’m
pro-choice!” Gotta love that guy!
Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District
Rep. Leonard Boswell (D) – Mixed bag. From 1999 through 2005,
Boswell voted 8 times on the pro-choice side of bills and amendments,
according to VoteSmart.org,
and 5 times on the anti-choice side. Not a progressive by any
stretch of the imagination, yet not quite a Republican. Has the
slight advantage of being the (Democratic) incumbent in what is often a
Iowa’s 5th Congressional District
Joyce Schulte (D) – Pro-choice. Come on! Let’s elect
THIS woman to Congress! She's a billion times more qualified to
serve the 5th district than our current “representative,” whom, from here on in, will be referred to as Big Brother's little buddy.
• Bob Chambers (D) – (no response yet); long-time Democratic activist.
Next up on the docket: Iowa v. Pro-choice Laws – NARAL Pro-choice America gives Iowa a “C.” Arrrrrrrrrgggggghhhhhhh!