Missouri Defunds Planned Parenthood Abortion Business for a Second Year

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Nov 15, 2019   |   4:43PM   |   Jefferson City, MO

Missouri taxpayers are no longer being forced to subsidize the largest abortion chain in the country.

The Kansas City Star reports state lawmakers have defunded the Planned Parenthood abortion chain of more than $1 million over the past two years.

Planned Parenthood is slated to challenge the state’s latest defunding measure in front of an administrative hearing commission in December, but for now, it remains in effect, according to the report.

Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the United States, and its leaders have said abortion is its “core mission.” While Medicaid funds do not directly pay for abortions, taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood helps to subsidize its vast abortion business.

In 2018 and again in 2019, Missouri lawmakers passed measures in the state budget that restrict taxpayer funding through Medicaid to Planned Parenthood and other groups that promote and/or perform abortions.

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““[N]o funds shall be expended to any clinic, physician’s office, or any other place or facility in which abortions are performed or induced other than a hospital, or any affiliate or associate of any such clinic, physician’s office, or place or facility in which abortions are performed or induced other than a hospital,” language in the 2019 state budget states.

The state Department of Social Services began withholding taxpayer funding from abortion groups on July 1, according to the report.

“We are not saying women can’t go to these facilities — this is not a prohibition of women going to these facilities,” said state Rep. Cody Smith, the Missouri House Budget Chair. “This is a prohibition of taxpayer dollars from going to these facilities.”

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.

In 2018, state 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.

Planned Parenthood is challenging the separate 2018 budget defunding measure in court as well. A St. Louis judge blocked the state from enforcing it in June.

For years, lawmakers have been trying to defund Planned Parenthood at the state and federal level. But the abortion group sues to block the cuts, and activist judges often side with Planned Parenthood, rather than American taxpayers.

The defunding measures are 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 health department recently moved to revoke the St. Louis abortion facility’s license, but Planned Parenthood sued to block the move. For now, the St. Louis facility remains open.

Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the United States. Its 2018 annual report shows 332,757 abortions and a record $1.66 billion in revenue. While its abortion numbers and revenue have increased, its patient numbers and health services have declined.