Christine de Pizan

Christine de Pizan
The Writer Christine de Pizan at Her Desk

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Iowa Hates Rape Victims and Loves Their Rapists (Back to the Future, Part 19)

Iowa Halts Assistance for Victims of Sexual Assault, Back to the Future, Part 19

It's hard to know how to classify this post--I decided to put it in with my "Back to the Future" series, but it could work equally well with "When Women Became No Longer Equal," or I guess I could have started a whole new category, "Really Fucked Up Shit." 

But I just read in a CNN news story posted this afternoon that, in her review of "victim's services," Iowa's Attorney General, Breanna Bird (R, in case that isn't obvious), "has paused funding for emergency contraception and abortions for sexual assault victims." Yeah. Because one way to serve victims of sexual assault is to withhold essential services from them.

Of course, the Attorney General herself couldn't be bothered to respond to questions personally. Instead, she had her press secretary deliver this mealy-mouthed, pusillanimous comment: "While not required by Iowa law, the victim compensation fund has previously paid for 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."

No, no, no! It's not cruelty. It's not depraved indifference. It's not about denying a rape victim essential medical treatment if that's what she decides is best for her well-being. It's all about the "appropriate" use of "public funds." Except it's not exactly public funds that are used: "Funds for the program are entirely made up of fines and penalties paid by convicted criminals, rather than general taxpayer money – a point victim advocacy groups emphasize."

And, by the way, "Juveniles accounted for the majority of sexual abuse victim costs paid for by Iowa’s state victim compensation funds, according to a 2021 Iowa’s Victim Assistance report." So much for all Breanna Bird's "pro-life" horseshit.

For William Morris and Michaela Ramm's report in the Des Moines Register, which includes the history of the program and Breanna Bird's "policies" that "reflect [Bird's] larger anti-abortion push," click here.

For more on Plan B, from Whole Woman's Health, click here.

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