Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird (R) has halted the state’s practice of paying for rape victims’ abortions and emergency contraceptives, according to the Des Moines Register.
The state is required to cover the costs of forensic exams and treatments for sexually transmitted diseases for victims of sexual assault. While not mandated by state law, Iowa has also previously used its victim compensation fund to cover Plan B and abortions.
“As a part of her top-down, bottom-up audit of victim assistance, Attorney General Bird is carefully evaluating whether this is an appropriate use of public funds,” Alyssa Brouillet, Bird’s press secretary, said in a statement, per the Des Moines Register. “Until that review is complete, payment of these pending claims will be delayed.”
Bird ousted longtime Democratic Attorney General Tom Miller in the 2022 election, after nearly three decades in office.
The decision to halt Iowa’s coverage of abortions and emergency contraceptives comes as a pair of federal judges ruled almost simultaneously on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of mifepristone on Friday night.
District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk in Texas issued a stay that would shut down the prescription and distribution of the abortion drug that has been on the market for over two decades, while District Judge Thomas Rice in Washington blocked the FDA from altering the availability of mifepristone.