An effort to tighten the restrictions on how family planning money can be spent receives preliminary approval in the House. The bill by Majority Floor Leader Jason Crowell of Cape Girardeau would prohibit any of the $5-Million in family planning funds from going to directly or indirectly pay for abortions. Crowell says the restriction is needed to keep some providers from taking state money for family planning services and using it to subsidize abortion clinics. The bill tracks the language contained the past few years in House Bill 10, the appropriations bill containing family planning funds. Crowell says it would remove that battle from the budget process. Critics claim Crowell hasn’t specified well enough what would constitute “indirect” funding of abortion and that his bill is merely a thinly veiled attack on Planned Parenthood, which operates both family planning and abortion clinics.
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