Iowa governor signs bill limiting funds for sex-reassignment

May 3, 2019 GMT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed a budget bill that prohibits the use of Medicaid funding to pay for sex-reassignment surgery.

The Republican governor signed the Health and Human Services funding bill on Friday and opted not to issue a line item veto of the ban on public funding for such surgeries.

Conservative Republicans added the prohibition in the closing days of the Legislature, saying it was a response to a recent Iowa Supreme Court decision that said the state couldn’t deny two transgender women Medicaid coverage for sex-reassignment surgery.

Daniel Hoffmann-Zinnell, executive director of the civil rights group One Iowa Action, said that by signing the bill, Reynolds “tarnished Iowa’s reputation as a state that stands for fairness and equality.”