Planned Parenthood on track to receive sex ed grants

Two Iowa state agencies announced on May 31 an intent to award Planned Parenthood of the Heartland sex education grants for the fiscal year beginning on July 1.

Republican lawmakers approved and Governor Kim Reynolds signed legislation seeking to deny Planned Parenthood access to the federally-funded Community Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention and Services Program (CAPP) and the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) grants. However, a Polk County District Court put that provision on hold this week, saying Planned Parenthood was “likely to succeed on the merits of its equal protection claim” under the Iowa Constitution.

The Iowa Department of Human Services administers the CAPP grant, which is designed to cover the following areas:

Increase awareness of adolescent sexual health, comprehensive sexuality education, teen parenting, and teen pregnancies in Iowa communities through varied means; facilitate collaborative partnerships with federal, state, local, and community-based stakeholders to share evidence based practices, best practices, promising practices, and data regarding adolescent pregnancy prevention strategies and services; administer and monitor the community-based CAPP grantee program, providing technical assistance and training; administer or sub-contract for a statewide media and marketing campaign aimed at adolescent pregnancy prevention.

The Notice of Intent to Award posted on May 31 named seventeen organizations, which are in line to receive CAPP grants to work in 58 Iowa counties. DHS has tentatively approved Planned Parenthood’s requests for $231,687 to work in Polk, Linn, Woodbury, Des Moines, and Lee counties. The organization’s current contract is for $182,797 and covers those five counties, along with Henry, Jasper, and Plymouth.

The Iowa Department of Public Health administers the PREP grant, which has the following purposes:

  • Educate youth on both abstinence and contraception for the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV/AIDS
  • Educate adolescents on at least three adulthood preparation subjects and life skills
  • Replicate evidence-based effective program models
  • Target youth populations that are the most high-risk or vulnerable for pregnancies
  • The Notice of Intent to Award names seven entities, including Planned Parenthood, that have been selected for the coming fiscal year. Department staff clarified via e-mail that dollar amounts have not been set, and that Planned Parenthood was approved for PREP programming in Polk, Pottawattamie, and Woodbury counties. Planned Parenthood’s current fiscal year PREP contract is for $85,000 and covers the same three counties.

    A notice of intent is no guarantee that a contract will be signed. Both agencies will be negotiating with all of the successful bidders in the coming weeks.

    Should a higher court lift the District Court’s temporary injunction on the new law, neither DHS nor IDPH would be able to award sex education funding to Planned Parenthood for the coming fiscal year. But at this writing, it appears that these important education services will be available to Iowa youth while Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit works its way through the courts.

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