Missouri leaders are working to hold the abortion industry accountable to basic health and safety standards by linking compliance to taxpayer funding through the state Medicaid program.
KOMU 8 reports Gov. Mike Parson, a pro-life Republican, implemented the new emergency regulations Wednesday to ensure abortion facilities are sterilizing instruments, reporting botched abortions and providing medically-necessary exams at least 72 hours before the abortion.
The regulations require the state health department to report violations to the Medicaid Audit and Compliance Unit, which has the authority to revoke the abortion facility’s taxpayer funding through the state Medicaid program, according to the report.
Currently, Planned Parenthood runs the only abortion facility in Missouri. The St. Louis facility had a poor reputation. Operation Rescue documented 75 medical emergencies at the facility over the past several years. In 2019, state health leaders tried to revoke its license, citing “multiple life-threatening” botched abortions, but a state commissioner ruled in favor of Planned Parenthood.
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During a July state Senate hearing, Jennifer Tidball, then-acting director of the Department of Social Services, and Robert Knodell, then-acting director of the Department of Health and Senior Services, told senators the departments were devising new regulations that could work to block funding for providers found out of compliance with state standards.
The rule would allow the DHSS, which inspects abortion facilities, to share information with DSS, which would then be able to “potentially sanction Medicaid providers based on the information that was shared by Health and Senior Services,” Tidball told the committee.
State Planned Parenthood leaders lashed out against the new safety regulations at a news conference Wednesday. Yamelsie Rodríguez, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, said they are asking President Joe Biden’s administration to stop the state from taking away its tax dollars.
“It is important to remember that CMS (the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) under the Biden administration is the regulator and enforcer of this federally-funded program,” Rodríguez said. “We call today on the Biden administration to protect every qualified Medicaid provider, including Planned Parenthood.”
Medicaid is funded by state and federal tax dollars. Nationally, Planned Parenthood reaps in hundreds of millions of tax dollars through the program every year.
Planned Parenthood also aborts more unborn babies than any other group in the U.S. Its latest annual report, which is publicly available online, shows more than 354,000 abortions, about 40 percent of all abortions in the U.S.
Meanwhile, the same report shows that many of Planned Parenthood’s actual health services continue to decline. It provided less contraception, sterilizations, cancer screenings, adoption referrals and other women’s health services than the previous year, mirroring a continued downward trend.
Its patient numbers also have been dropping steadily over the past decade amid numerous reports of alleged unethical and illegal activities by Planned Parenthood, including selling aborted baby body parts, botching abortions that killed women, covering up the sexual abuse of minors, discriminating against pregnant and racial minority employees, exploiting young girls by selling cross-sex hormones and more.
Many states have tried to defund the abortion chain of taxpayer dollars, but only a few have succeeded. In many cases, their efforts have been thwarted by pro-abortion lawmakers and court orders from activist judges.