The Missouri legislature has approved a budget that would keep tax dollars from going to Planned Parenthood.
Lawmakers voted to give up 8-million federal dollars, part of which would have to go to Planned Parenthood. The organization’s 13 clinics in Missouri would lose $380,000.
Senate Budget Chairman Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) said many Missourians don’t want tax dollars going to an abortion provider.
“We backed that $8-million out so there’s not a single dollar of cut because we refilled that with $8-million [from state General Revenue], but now this money will go to rural health clinics, [Federally Qualified Health Centers], and county health departments, of which there are over 580 across the state.”
Schaefer and Republicans said those organizations provide all the same services Planned Parenthood does except for abortions.
Democrats including Representative Judy Morgan (R-Kansas City) say tax dollars already can’t go to fund abortions, but Planned Parenthood medicaid payments cover other services.
“Pap smears, breast exams, STD and HIV testing, pregnancy testing, sterilization, vaccinations, well women exams and even well men exams,” are some of the procedures Morgan noted.
Morgan and other Democrats believe the defunding of Planned Parenthood in the state budget is unconstitutional, and will likely be challenged in court.
“Courts have ruled that the general assembly cannot legislate through the appropriation process. Appropriation bills are solely for the purpose of expending funds and shouldn’t include any policy matters,” said Morgan.
The budget proposal would increase performance-based funding for the state’s colleges and universities 4-percent – an increase for which the state’s institutions have agreed not to increase tuition. It would cut $3.8-million from the University of Missouri’s administration.
It would increase the foundation formula for K-12 school funding by $71-million, but that is still more than $400-million less than what the formula calls for.