April 9, 2023 -DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — 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, a move that drew criticism from some victim advocates.
Federal regulations and state law require Iowa to pay many of the expenses for sexual assault victims who seek medical help, such as the costs of forensic exams and treatment for sexually transmitted infections. Under the previous attorney general, Democrat Tom Miller, Iowa’s victim compensation fund also paid for Plan B, the so-called morning after pill, as well as other treatments to prevent pregnancy.
A spokeswoman for Republican Attorney General Brenna Bird, who defeated Miller’s bid for an 11th term in November, told the Des Moines Register that those payments are now on hold as part of a review of victim services.
“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.”