By Associated Press - Friday, May 8, 2020

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa judge has ruled that a state law blocking Planned Parenthood from receiving federal money for sex education programs is unconstitutional.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that Fifth Judicial District Judge Paul Scott ruled Wednesday in the case. Scott wrote that the law violates Planned Parenthood of the Heartland’s right to equal protection and “has no valid, ‘realistic conceivable’ purpose that serves a legitimate government interest …”

In his ruling, Scott issued a permanent injunction to prevent the law’s implementation.

The measure passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature in 2019 excluded any Iowa organization that “provides or promotes abortion” from receiving federal dollars that support sex education and related services to Iowa youth.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and ACLU of Iowa filed suit shortly after Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the bill into law.

The ruling “ensures that teens and young adults across Iowa will continue to have access to medically accurate sex education programs, despite the narrow and reckless policies of anti-abortion lawmakers,” said Erin Davison-Rippey, executive director of Planned Parenthood North Central States.

The governor’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the ruling.

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