Lone Iowa judge defies lawmakers’, governor’s move to defund Planned Parenthood

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Judge Paul Scott issued a permanent injunction to prevent the law's implementation.

A lone Iowa judge handed a victory last week to those who help mothers kill their babies, protecting federal funding for Planned Parenthood after state lawmakers and the governor maneuvered to cut it off.

Fifth Judicial District Judge Paul Scott ruled on May 6 that a new state law blocking the abortion-enabling organization from receiving federal money for sex education programs is unconstitutional, the Cedar Rapids Gazette and FOX42 reported.

Scott wrote that the law violates Planned Parenthood of the Heartland’s right to equal protection and “has no valid, ‘realistic conceivable’ purpose that serves a legitimate government interest …” Scott also issued a permanent injunction to prevent implementation of the law.

Passed by the GOP-controlled Legislature in 2019, the law barred any Iowa group that “provides or promotes abortion” from getting federal dollars that support sex education and similar services to young people in Iowa. A lawsuit was filed by Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and ACLU of Iowa shortly after Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the bill into law.

The ruling “ensures that teens and young adults across Iowa will continue to have access to medically accurate sex education programs, despite the narrow and reckless policies of anti-abortion lawmakers,” said Erin Davison-Rippey, executive director of Planned Parenthood North Central States.

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