Pro-life lawmakers in Missouri hope 2022 will be the year when the state legislature finally succeeds in defunding the abortion chain Planned Parenthood of their tax dollars.
The Missouri Independent reports lawmakers filed several bills ahead of the new legislative session this week that would cut off tax dollars to the only abortion facility in the state, a Planned Parenthood in St. Louis.
One bill, Senate Bill 637 sponsored by state Sen. Bob Onder, R-Lake St. Louis, would prohibit abortion facilities and their affiliates from participating in the state Medicaid program, MO HealthNet, according to the report.
Nationally, Planned Parenthood receives hundreds of millions of tax dollars every year, the majority of it through Medicaid. Though the federal government and most states, including Missouri, prohibit taxpayer funding for abortions in Medicaid, pro-life leaders say the money that goes to Planned Parenthood still indirectly supports the killing of unborn babies in abortions.
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Also, Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups currently are lobbying U.S. Congress to get rid of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer funding for most abortions in the federal Medicaid program. Without the Hyde Amendment, Americans would be forced to pay for the killing of potentially tens of thousands of unborn babies in elective abortions every year.
At the state level, Onder and others are working to stop other taxpayer funding to the abortion chain in Missouri.
Another bill, Senate Joint Resolution 34 filed by state Sen. Bill Eigel, R-Weldon Spring, would amend the state constitution to prohibit any tax dollars from being paid to individuals or facilities that perform abortions. The Independent identified three other pro-life bills with similar purposes: Senate Bill 667, House Bill 1461 and House Bill 1854.
For years, state lawmakers have been trying to defund abortion groups of tax dollars, but, in 2020, the Missouri Supreme Court struck down one of their efforts through a state budget bill.
Since then, however, other states’ efforts have been successful in court, bringing renewed hope that Missourians soon could stop funding groups that abort unborn babies.
Sam Lee of Campaign Life Missouri said Texas and Arkansas both defunded Planned Parenthood from their state Medicaid programs, and a federal court upheld the Texas action last year.
“It’s one of the biggest issues out there,” Lee told the newspaper. “But all of these bills are potentially in play.”
Planned Parenthood is a billion-dollar abortion chain that aborts more unborn babies than any other group in the U.S. Its most recent annual report listed more than 354,000 abortions, or about 40 percent of all abortions in the U.S. that year. Its annual reports also show billion-dollar revenues, including hundreds of millions of tax dollars.
According to its 2018-2019 annual report, Planned Parenthood received $616.8 million in government funding nationally, approximately 90 percent of which came from Medicaid reimbursements.