Aug 8, 2023 - News

Polk County funds sexual assault contraception program

A photo of Brenna Bird.

Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird took office in January. Screenshot: Iowa PBS

Free access to Plan B contraception for victims of sexual assaults and rapes will continue in Polk County under a resolution unanimously approved Tuesday by supervisors.

  • So will abortions "in rare but necessary circumstances."

Why it matters: The Iowa Attorney General's office, which has for decades covered these costs, paused funding for the services in April while AG Brenna Bird evaluated whether it was an appropriate use of public funds.

  • Bird told the Iowa Press last week she intends to make the no-pay policy permanent.

State of play: Polk County Crisis & Advocacy Services (PCCAS) assisted 270 victims of sexual assault or rape last year.

  • Of those, 105 received free emergency contraception.

What they're saying: The county's annual cost is a few thousand dollars, described as "minimal," by Supervisors Tom Hockensmith and Angela Connolly in a jointly released statement.

  • Covering it is important as part of "compassionate and complete care that puts women before partisan politics," they said.

The other side: Bird told Iowa Press it was a question of whether public funds should pay for the services.

  • Her office did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

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