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Iowa can block Planned Parenthood from teaching sex ed in schools, state Supreme Court rules
Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Iowa can block Planned Parenthood from teaching sex ed in schools, state Supreme Court rules

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that state lawmakers can block the nation's largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, from conducting sex education programs in public schools.

With its decision, the court overturned a judge's ruling last year that found a 2019 law passed by Republican lawmakers in the state to be unconstitutional.

In essence, the court found the Iowa legislature's concerns over having an abortion provider educate children about sex to be reasonable. The lawmakers had argued that doing so could undermine state efforts to promote abstinence and reduce teenage pregnancy.

"The state could also be concerned that using abortion providers to deliver sex education programs to teenage students would create relationships between the abortion provider and the students the state does not wish to foster in light of its policy preference for childbirth over abortion," wrote Justice Dana Oxley in the court's majority opinion, according to the Associated Press.

The court's lone dissenter, Justice Brent Appel, argued that the bill is only intended as an assault on abortion rights.

The legislature "through unconstitutional conditions in these statutes is trying to accomplish indirectly what it cannot do directly: namely, attack abortion rights," Appel wrote.

All those who signed onto the majority opinion were appointed by Republican governors. Appel, on the other hand, was appointed by a Democrat.

In response, Sarah Stoesz, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States, called the ruling a "major setback for public health" and "a disappointing day for young Iowans who have relied on Planned Parenthood for more than a decade to provide them with comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education."

But Monica Cline, a former Planned Parenthood sex education instructor who left the organization after realizing the dangers of comprehensive sex education, celebrated the ruling as a victory for Iowans.

"Parents and their kids should be celebrating in Iowa today," Cline said in a statement made available to TheBlaze. "Planned Parenthood's entire business model relies on separating kids from their parents, who are referred to as barriers to service. If Planned Parenthood is allowed in our schools, it means they are talking to your kids about sex, contraception, STDs, and their version of healthy relationships. If parents don't connect with their kids and talk about the hard topics, someone else will. And thanks to the Iowa Supreme Court, it's not going to be Planned Parenthood."

Additionally, Iowa Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds called the ruling "a strong statement in support of the idea that taxpayer dollars should not fund abortion" and added that she is "proud to be a pro-life governor who will protect all innocent life."

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