Missouri lawmakers passed a firmly pro-life budget Wednesday night that defunds abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood and provides support for moms and babies.
St. Louis Public Radio reports the $28 billion budget is headed to Gov. Eric Greitens, who is pro-life. June 30 is the deadline for the governor’s signature.
The abortion giant Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses in the state no longer will receive tax dollars through Medicaid or state programs through the Department of Social Services, the Department of Health and Senior Services or the Department of Mental Health.
Samuel Lee of Campaign Life Missouri praised state lawmakers for passing a budget that prioritizes support for moms and babies.
“The Missouri General Assembly has passed the state’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year beginning July 1, and it is great news for pro-life agencies, pregnant mothers and their unborn children – and for pro-life taxpayers – by defunding abortion providers like Planned Parenthood,” Lee told LifeNews.
A Planned Parenthood spokesperson quickly criticized the budget, interestingly by citing infant and maternal mortality rates.
“This at time when Missouri has one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates and is going in the opposite direction of many states,” said M’evie Mead, director of policy and organizing with Planned Parenthood Advocates of Missouri. “This Republican lead administration is really creating an unbelievably hostile environment for access to reproductive health care in Missouri.”
But the budget does provide funding for women’s and children’s health care. What it does not fund is facilities that participate in killing unborn babies.
Included in the new budget is about $6.5 million for alternatives to abortion services that support pregnant and parenting moms through maternity homes, pregnancy centers and other agencies, according to Campaign Life Missouri.
It also sets aside $15.7 million for the “Show-Me Healthy Babies” program, the state children’s health insurance program that provides health care coverage for lower income children who are not eligible for Medicaid, the pro-life group said.
The Kansas City Star reported more about the defunding effort when it passed the House:
But an amendment attached to the budget when it passed the House the first time drew the ire of a vocal group of House members. The provision, offered by Rep. Robert Ross, R-Yukon, would bar state funds from reimbursing health services at any providers that also perform abortions, like Planned Parenthood or physicians’ offices. He claimed at the time that clinics had been able to skirt bans on government funding for abortions by setting up a “shell game.”
Morgan called the provision “bogus” because the Hyde Amendment prohibits use of federal money to reimburse abortion services unless it’s a case of rape or incest or the pregnancy would present a threat to the life of the mother.
Critics argue the provision is illegal because Medicaid patients are allowed by law to see the provider of their choice. Planned Parenthood provides health services, including sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, birth control, cancer screenings and annual exams, to more than 7,000 [state] Medicaid patients annually.
According to the report, a group of pro-abortion Democrats also criticized the state alternatives to abortion program that provides support for moms who choose life for their unborn babies.
But Republican state Rep. Sara Walsh defended the program, saying pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes provide important support – such as diapers, pregnancy tests and ultrasounds – to expecting moms, the report states.
“It’s so important that she has those facts, that she’s able to see that little life and the development within her,” Walsh said.
The abortion defunding measure also is good news for taxpayers as well as mothers and babies. The Planned Parenthood abortion facility in St. Louis has one of the worst reputations in the country. According to Operation Rescue, it has an average of one injured woman every 20 days over the past eight and a half years.
The state legislature has been working to cut off all streams of funding to abortion businesses for years.