Republican State Representative Shannon Lundgren of Dubuque County described Governor Kim Reynolds’ over-the-counter birth control proposal as a “good concept” this afternoon. Lundgren made a number of seemingly favorable comments on the legislation during a taping of ABC 5’s This Week In Iowa political show.
“Republicans in the House and the Senate, we certainly want to limit abortion, and one good way to do it is to prevent pregnancy,” Lundgren said, while noting that she had only recently gotten the bill language. “I think the Governor’s initiative is to make sure there is access for women.”
Lundgren is the chair of the House Human Resources Committee, where the bill has been assigned. Securing her support would be key to moving the bill forward, and Lundgren is one of the House’s leading voices on anti-abortion issues. She ran the 6-week abortion bill in the House last year.
Reynolds this week rolled out her plan to allow women to obtain three methods of birth control at a pharmacy without a doctor’s prescription. She had promised on the campaign trail late in last year’s race that she would push for such a measure if elected.
“We just received the bill, so we certainly have a lot of questions about it, but overall the concept is a good concept,” Lundgren said. “Other states are doing it. We do support Governor Reynolds in her initiatives. ”
That sounded like a more favorable response than what Lundgren said in a recent Iowa Public Radio article.
“I think access to birth control is something that is extremely important, especially as a pro-life organization, pro-life members of our House and Senate,” she continued. “So, anytime we can make sure we are providing access for women and limiting unplanned pregnancy, we certainly turn around and decrease the number of abortions in the state of Iowa. It’s a different angle, but it’s certainly important to Governor Reynolds and we’ll see where we end up at the end of session.”
Lundgren noted that many legislators still need to fully read through the bill and process some information.
“Once we’re comfortable with that and our questions are answered from the governor’s office, we will in turn assign that to a subcommittee,” Lundgren said.
Many anti-abortion groups have also stood morally opposed to forms of birth control. Lundgren did not seem to think that would be a significant barrier among Republican lawmakers.
“I’m not necessarily sure that we have a number of people within our caucus – I can’t speak for them all – that are against birth control,” she said. “There are certainly certain groups and organizations and religions that feel differently about it.”
This comes after Iowa passed one of the country’s most restrictive abortion laws in the country and defunded Planned Parenthood last session. Lundgren also spoke on the impact of several clinics’ closures. You can see that and the rest of Lundgren’s conversation with ABC 5’s Sabrina Ahmed at 9:00 AM on Sunday.
by Pat Rynard
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