The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

JoCo Board of Supervisors to soon vote on county paying for rape survivors’ medication

The county considered funding medication for survivors of rape at a work session Wednesday morning.
Sara Stumpff
Supervisors listen to a speaker during a Johnson County Board of Supervisors meeting at the Johnson County Administration Building in Iowa City on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023.

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors will vote Thursday to decide if the county will pay for rape survivors’ medication — specifically birth control and emergency contraception. 

The plan received a positive response from the supervisors at a Wednesday morning work session, and they will vote on the proposal at Thursday’s formal meeting. 

The funding request comes after Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird directed the Attorney General’s Victim Services Office to stop paying for those medications in April as part of an audit of the department.

Bird has yet to say when the audit will finish, and if Iowa will continue to not pay for these medications. Some counties, including Polkare deciding to fill the gap. 

Katy Rasmussen, the University of Iowa College of Nursing sexual assault nurse examiner coordinator, made the request to the supervisors. If the county does not step in and provide funding, the UI will bill survivors of rape for the cost of the exam and medication. 

“We are causing victims further trauma if we ask them to pay for it,” Rasmussen said. 

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Insurance is not an option for everyone, especially if they share a plan with their abuser, she added. 

“Johnson County has been at the forefront of this since it started. I would like to make sure that we stay there,” Rod Sullivan, vice chair of the board, said. “I’m very supportive of us picking up this funding, although, I think it’s important to note that there’s no reason that we should do this. It should be on the attorney general to do and I wish she’d take responsibility. If she won’t, we will.” 

Supervisor Jon Green was in agreement. 

“Once again, it falls on local government to do the state’s job and we’re going to do it,” he said.

Supervisor V Fixmer-Oraiz said Bird’s removal of funding is politically motivated. 

“I just want to say this is incredible … what they are trying to do right now is incredibly harmful and unacceptable. I am outraged that this is where things are at. Of course, I would fully support giving you the funding you need. Unfortunately, this is what it’s coming down to,” they said. 

Green proposed $10,000 of funding for the Johnson County Sexual Assault Response Team. A meeting will be held to discuss finances next week. 

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About the Contributors
Roxy Ekberg, News Reporter
Roxy Ekberg is a first year at the University of Iowa. In the Honors Program, she is double majoring in journalism and political science with a minor in Spanish. Prior to her role as a politics reporter, she worked news reporter at the Daily Iowan and worked at her local newspaper The Wakefield Republican.
Sara Stumpff, Photojournalist
Sara is a third year UI student who transfered from Kirkwood. She is a "non traditional" student who will hopefully obtain her BFA in Photography and BA in Spanish.