DES MOINES, Iowa -- In reaction to the announcement that stunned Capitol Hill - that House Speaker John Boehner will resign at the end of October - Planned Parenthood released the following statement:
"It looks like leadership in the House may go from bad to worse. While John Boehner was never a champion of women's health in this country, even he recognized that defunding Planned Parenthood wasn't what the American people wanted. The extreme flank of this Congress has become so obsessed with ending women's access to basic health care that they'll pursue it at all costs --- no matter how many Americans disagree, and how many women they hurt as a result."
The statement is from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.
Locally, the Family Planning Council of Iowa is also concerned about what the shakeup in House leadership could mean for women having access to care. "We are, will be, in a wait and see game, as will a lot of organizations that use federal funding to provide services," said Family Planning Council of Iowa Executive Director Jodi Tomlonovic.
The Family Planning Council supports a woman`s right to choose and contracts with Planned Parenthood to provide family planning services. "Our main concern is ensuring access to women’s healthcare services in Iowa," said Tomlonovic. "Planned Parenthood does a very good job of providing family planning services. They have many women who go there, who choose to go there because of the quality of services they`re getting," said Tomlonovic. Tomlonovic says defunding Planned Parenthood would result in women having less access to care.
Meanwhile, pro-life organization "The Family Leader" welcomes the resignation of House Republican Leader John Boehner. "Congress is getting the message from the American people. They`re done with politics as usual, so when he`s (Boehner) saying you can`t defund Planned Parenthood because Obama`s going to veto it, that`s not the leadership we`re looking for," said The Family Leader President and CEO Bob Vander Plaats.
TFL has released a new ad calling on The Governor's Office to defund Planned Parenthood. "We called on Governor Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Reynolds to stop the charade and dancing around the issue. They know they can defund it in the State of Iowa. Governor Branstad said five years ago on the debate stage he would defund this as his first spending cut. He still hasn`t done it," said Vander Plaats. "This can be done and it should be done, and Iowans should hold them accountable to make this happen," said Vander Plaats.
The Governor's Office released the following statement:
"Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds appreciate the service of Speaker John Boehner as both the Speaker of the House of Representatives and in representing his constituents in Ohio as a congressman. The Speaker’s retirement announcement does not change the fact that in Iowa, Planned Parenthood does not receive state funds for abortions. There is no line-item in the state budget for Planned Parenthood, and if there were, Gov. Branstad would item veto it. Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds are committed to ensuring no state taxpayer funds reimburse Planned Parenthood for abortions or abortion-related services. Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds will continue working hand in hand with pro-life legislative leaders both in Iowa and federally to ensure women have access to high quality health services while also protecting the sanctity of life."
In reaction to that statement by the Governor's Office, Vander Plaats said “I think we’ve all heard that rhetoric before. The fact is by saying no Iowa dollars go to fund abortions, we just go to fund Planned Parenthood’s offices, their clinics, their light bill, their facility, but we don’t do the abortion, well, everybody knows that’s ridiculous. Of course those dollars are funding abortions."