Missouri lawmakers just sent their governor a budget that would take away hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars from abortion groups in the state.
Missourinet reports the legislators approved the budget on Thursday with a provision to give up $8 million in federal dollars, part of which would have gone to Planned Parenthood abortion clinics. Instead, the state budgeted money to support community health centers that don’t do abortions, according to the report. The budget also prohibits any taxpayer dollars through Medicaid from going to groups that perform elective abortions.
The Planned Parenthood abortion business runs 13 facilities in Missouri and received approximately $380,000 in taxpayer funding each year, the report states.
The report has more about the vote:
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.
A group of pro-abortion lawmakers opposed the budget saying Planned Parenthood does not use taxpayer dollars for abortions, and called the defunding measure unconstitutional. State Rep. Judy Morgan said the measure is likely to be challenged in court.
The effort to defund Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups comes in response to a series of undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood selling aborted babies’ body parts. Since the undercover videos revealed shocking and potentially illegal activity at Planned Parenthood, a number of states have introduced measures to end taxpayer funding to abortion businesses.
The issue has been especially contentious in Missouri, where Planned Parenthood officials have refused to answer a state subpoena for records about their handling of aborted baby body parts.
In November, LifeNews reported Schaefer’s office received a death threat, which he believes was linked to his leadership of the Planned Parenthood investigation.
Missouri state officials began investigating the Planned Parenthood abortion business after the Center for Medical Progress released the first of its shocking undercover videos last summer. St. Louis was mentioned in one undercover video as a possible location to obtain aborted baby parts. The investigation already has revealed a relationship between Planned Parenthood and the University of Michigan.