Iowa lawmakers are the latest to consider defunding Planned Parenthood over the organization's performance of abortions, though the proposal died on the last day of the legislative session. Elsewhere, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signs a bill allowing some religious employers to opt out of covering contraception in their insurance plans.
Des Moines Register: Political Spin On Legislative Session Will Now Ensue
Another highly contentious issue involved a proposal to eliminate state money going to Planned Parenthood for women's health programs. Republicans dislike the organization's role in performing abortions and wanted to cut off all money to the group, even funds designated for such things as cancer screenings. The impasse with Democrats went on for weeks and ultimately was resolved in the Democrats' favor during the final day of the legislative session. Some Republicans say that outcome could rear its head again in the party's primary races (Clayworth and Noble, 5/12).
Arizona Republic: Brewer Signs Arizona Bill On Contraception Coverage
Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law Friday a measure allowing some religious employers to opt out of covering prescription contraceptives as part of their health-care plans. House Bill 2625 applies only to "religiously affiliated" employers, which are defined as non-profit groups that primarily employ and serve individuals of the same religion or religiously motivated organizations with articles of incorporation clearly stating that religious beliefs are central to the organization's operating principles (Rau, 5/11).