“The Iowa Attorney General’s Office has paused its practice of paying for emergency contraception — and in rare cases, abortions — for victims of sexual assault“
In Iowa, money for the victim compensation fund comes from fines and penalties paid by convicted criminals. For sexual assault victims, state law requires that the fund pay “the cost of a medical examination of a victim for the purpose of gathering evidence and the cost of treatment of a victim for the purpose of preventing venereal disease,” but makes no mention of contraception or pregnancy risk.
Sandi Tibbetts Murphy, who served as director of the victim assistance division under Miller, said the longtime policy for Iowa has been to include the cost of emergency contraception in the expenses covered by the fund. She said that in rare cases, the fund paid for abortions for rape victims.
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,” Bird Press Secretary Alyssa Brouillet said in a statement. “Until that review is complete, payment of these pending claims will be delayed.” Victim advocates were caught off guard by the pause. Ruth Richardson, CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States, said in a statement that the move was “deplorable and reprehensible.”