Southeast Iowa’s Des Moines County is considering applying for federal funding, know as the Title X program, to create a clinic to provide sexual and reproductive healthcare to low-income people, including to those who don't qualify for Medicaid services.
Until it closed this summer, the Burlington Planned Parenthood was the area’s Title X provider. The Republican-controlled state legislature blocked Planned Parenthood of the Heartland from receiving a portion of its federal funding this year which the organization says forced it to end operations in Burlington and three other Iowa cities.
Since the Planned Parenthood closed many providers say a new Title X clinic is needed. This facility wouldn't provide abortions, but other services would be available on a sliding scale to patients who live at up to 250 percent of the poverty level.
"This clinic would be providing services like limited testing for sexually transmitted diseases, pap smears, pregnancy tests, birth control, examines as well as counseling, education for family planning and education on contraceptives, as well as the infertility services," says Des Moines County Public Health Administrator Christa Poggemiller. "It will definitely meet some of the gaps in the community."
After the first year, the grant would bring in $127,000 annually. The clinic would also be able accept donations and insurance, including Medicaid.
The Des Moines County Board of Supervisors will likely vote in two weeks whether to direct Poggemiller to submit the Title X application, which she says it due on Oct. 24.