Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said her MOMS (More Options for Maternal Support) Program was an example of how a legislative body could use its power to protect the unborn.
Reynolds made those remarks during her 2023 Condition of the State Address when she asked lawmakers for additional funding for the program, which connects women with pregnancy support services, safety net resources, housing assistance, and recovery and mental health treatment. In 2022, the original legislation earmarked $500,000 in state funds for the program.
“A pro-life state is one that surrounds every person involved in a pregnancy—born and unborn, mother and father—with protection, love, and support,” Reynolds said. “Every woman facing an unplanned pregnancy deserves to know she is worthy of this, that she is not alone.”
In 2023, MOMS funding increased after the Iowa Legislature allocated $2 million to administer the program. The funds will go to pregnancy centers that offer clients resources to choose childbirth and to make informed decisions regarding the choice of adoption or parenting with respect to their children, according to The Des Moines Register.
In January, The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services announced it would award four grants under the state's MOMS program. The grant awardees, according to The Des Moines Register, include: Alternatives Pregnancy Center (located in Cedar Falls and Waterloo), Bethany Christian Services of Northwest Iowa, Informed Choices of Iowa (based in Iowa City and Burlington), and Lutheran Services of Iowa. Alternatives Pregnancy Center is one of 1,200 affiliates in Care Net’s network of pregnancy centers.
Some of the program goals for MOMS include:
- Providing personalized, confidential, and comprehensive support for women so they can make informed life choices for themselves and their babies, based on their needs and situation, regarding their decision to parent or place their baby for adoption.
- Ensuring access to quality prenatal and postpartum care and supporting women to practice sound health-related behaviors throughout their pregnancies and after delivery so their babies can thrive.
- Connecting expectant parents to education and support services so they are better equipped to provide loving, responsible, and competent care for their children.
- Improving family economic self-sufficiency by linking parents to housing, education, and employment assistance.
In her 2023 Condition of the State Address, Reynolds told the story of Sarah Hurm to illustrate the need to support pregnant women. Hurm, a single mother of three, was pregnant with her fourth child, but—after not receiving support from the baby’s father to give birth—took the first pill to induce a chemical abortion.
“Immediately she was filled with regret. She had heard the baby’s heartbeat, and the sound replayed in her mind. It weighed on her when she picked up her children from school. How is this life different from theirs, she wondered. And it weighed on her when she went to bed that night,” Reynolds said.
Thankfully, Hurm was able to call the abortion pill reversal hotline. The staff immediately connected her with a local doctor who administered a reversal that saved her baby’s life.
“Today, Sarah volunteers at a pregnancy clinic that provides support to women facing unplanned pregnancies,” Reynolds said. “She shares her story and her compassion with mothers who are facing the same decision. She helps give them the support that was missing for her; support that should be available to every expectant mother.”