Iowa HHS Contracts With Four Crisis Pregnancy Facilities Under the MOMS Program

The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services plans to give over $680,000 to four crisis pregnancy centers through its More Options for Maternal Support (MOMS) program over the next two years.

Iowa HHS has made agreements with Informed Choice of Iowa, Lutheran Services in Iowa, Bethany Christian Services of northwest Iowa, and Alternatives Pregnancy Center, as shown in records obtained by IPR. The contracts started on May 1 and will continue until April 30, 2026.

MOMS program cash will be distributed as follows: Informed Choice of Iowa will receive $204,628, Lutheran Services in Iowa will receive $192,604, Bethany Christian Services of Northwest Iowa will receive $181,687, and Alternatives Pregnancy Center will receive $103,013 as a result of the contracts.

Twenty-two years ago, in 2022, the legislature of Iowa approved the controversial MOMS program, which gives funds for crisis pregnancy centers that are opposed to abortion. Over the course of the previous year, legislators raised the funds from its initial allocation of $500,000 to $2 million.

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For the first two years of the MOMS program, however, the Iowa Department of Human Services was unable to find an organization that would be able to run the program in accordance with the law. As a result, the program did not receive any funding. During the most recent legislative session, lawmakers approved a bill that grants the Department of Health and Human Services the authority to directly manage the program.

Individuals who are pregnant can receive support services such as ultrasounds and counseling that encourages them to choose childbirth through the MOMS program, which contracts with crisis pregnancy centers to provide these services. According to the terms of the contract, reproductive health facilities that receive funds from MOMS are only permitted to recommend terminating a pregnancy if it is “medically necessary to prevent the pregnant woman’s death.”

Crisis pregnancy centers, which are frequently run by religious organizations and are not licensed medical centers, have been criticized by Democrats, advocates for abortion rights, and leading medical organizations. These groups argue that the religious ideologies of the pregnancy centers can have a negative impact on the guidance that they provide to pregnant clients.

MOMS organizations are not permitted to require their clients to participate in religious activities, and they are required to have all medical services monitored by a physician in accordance with the HHS contract.

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