Missouri is one step away from defunding the abortion giant Planned Parenthood.
This week, the abortion group’s Missouri affiliates received a letter from the state notifying them that they no longer will qualify for Medicaid funding starting Friday at 5 p.m., the Columbia Missourian reports.
The new state budget includes a provision to strip taxpayer dollars from groups that provide or recommend abortions. It is waiting for Gov. Mike Parson’s signature, but Parson told reporters Tuesday that he plans to sign the bill.
The defunding measure 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.
Earlier this week, a Planned Parenthood spokesperson complained to the Kansas City Star that the cuts will affect thousands of Medicaid patients in Missouri. However, the budget does not cut funding to the low-income health care program; it merely prevents abortion groups from receiving taxpayer dollars.
Women and families still can access Medicaid through the hundreds of federally qualified community health clinics across the state. In 2015, there were 588 health clinics in Missouri versus 13 Planned Parenthoods.
Lawmakers also set aside $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.
They also budgeted $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.
Steve Rupp, president of Missouri Right to Life, thanked the legislature for passing a strong budget in May.
“We thank the House and Senate for the pro-life language in the budget to prevent our tax dollars from being used for abortion and for the many great programs that were funded in the appropriations bills like alternatives to abortion, show-me healthy babies and a new pilot program to help pregnant and post-partum moms get over drug addictions,” Rupp said. “We also thank the House and Senate for extending and increasing tax credits for those who donate to Pregnancy Resource Centers and Maternity Homes.”
State lawmakers have been working to stop taxpayer funding from supporting the abortion industry for years.
Joe Ortwerth of the Missouri Family Policy Council explained more about the latest effort:
The Missouri General Assembly had adopted similar restrictive language in the budget two years ago, but Representative Ross says that Planned Parenthood had concocted a “shell game” to still access state funding.
Missouri House Budget Committee Chairman Scott Fitzpatrick of Shell Knob says that the [new budget] will close a “loophole” that Planned Parenthood exploited to secure state taxpayer funding.