The state Senate has joined the House in proposing a budget that would defund organizations that provide abortions. Planned Parenthood is the only one in Missouri.
Senator Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) told Senator Jill Schupp (D-Creve Coeur) that the state’s not paying Planned Parenthood anymore. He said Missourians can go other places that provide the same services, except for abortions.
“The federal government gets to dictate where the money goes. If we take it out, we get to dictate where the money goes,” said Schaefer.
“That’s right. So we are not utilizing $8 million of the federal dollars for this. We’re instead using $8 million of our own general revenue for this in order to ensure that Planned Parenthood is not able to take Medicaid patients because they will not be reimbursed from these funds,” said Schupp.
“That’s exactly what we’re doing,” said Schaefer.
Schaefer said Missourians don’t want money going to Planned Parenthood.
“You are going to keep women, particularly low-income women, from getting the service they need by putting this in the budget this way,” said Schupp.
“No one is cut from services. Not a single person loses a dollar of service under this,” said Schaefer.
“They can’t go to Planned Parenthood to get those services,” said Schupp. “What you’ve done, is try to defund Medicaid going to Planned Parenthood through this line in the budget.”
The House’s budget plan includes a similar restriction. The two chambers will next week begin negotiating between their two plans.
Several state and federal lawmakers have called for defunding Planned Parenthood since several videos were released last summer alleging the organization illegally profits from the sale of fetal tissue. Planned Parenthood has maintained that the videos were highly edited and two people have been indicted for manipulating those videos, but Republicans say they still raise questions.