After passing the Missouri House, the Senate has passed legislation that would stop state funding from going to Planned Parenthood or other abortion providers. The House bill was carried in the Senate by Sen. Mary Elizabeth Coleman, R-Arnold.

“There have been many efforts over the years to finally defund Planned Parenthood. That effort has been made in budget bills,” said Coleman. “It’s been both upheld and overturned by the Supreme Court and this bill is an effort to put that conversation to rest by putting it as part of our state statute.”

Most abortions are already illegal in Missouri and the state’s Medicaid program does not reimburse for abortions that are allowed.

The bill has received harsh criticism from Democrats, including Sen. Angela Mosely, D-Florissant, who argued that Planned Parenthood cannot provide abortion services in Missouri.

“This is not an abortion bill. It has nothing to do with abortion because Planned Parenthood cannot provide abortion services in Missouri,” Mosely said. “Clearly, that has been banned in Missouri. So, everyone should be a ‘no’ on this bill.”

Coleman hopes the effort can be enshrined in state statute after previous legal attempts have failed.

“People who are engaged and are associated with who are providing abortions in the state of Missouri shall be ineligible to be a part of the Medicaid program,” she said. “We have a large number of federally qualified health clinics. There are people who are going to say that this is about access to healthcare, and I think it’s really important to make it clear that it’s not.”

Sen. Tracy McCreery, D-Olivette argued that it could affect low-income residents who rely on programs such as MO HealthNet.

“It’s not punishing Planned Parenthood,” McCreery said. “What this is doing is this is hurting our very own constituents. We all represent thousands of people that are on Medicaid and that is in all districts. This is an urban issue. There are people on Medicaid in all 34 state senate districts.”

The public funding that Planned Parenthood has been getting is for other healthcare services, such as cancer screenings, sexually transmitted diseases, and birth control.

The bill goes back to the House for another look.

Click here for more information.

© 2024, Missourinet.