The Planned Parenthood abortion chain filed a lawsuit Thursday against the state of Missouri challenging a spending bill that defunds abortion groups of state taxpayer dollars.
In the lawsuit, Planned Parenthood argues that defunding it from the state Medicaid program is unconstitutional and beyond the state’s authority, The Missouri Independent reports.
State lawmakers passed a spending bill in February that defunds Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups, their affiliates and associates of state tax dollars by appropriating zero dollars to them through the state Medicaid program.
Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion group in the U.S. It reports billion-dollar revenues while aborting more than 350,000 unborn babies a year, and it runs the only abortion facility in Missouri.
“I hope they lose,” Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, told FOX 2 Now. “We don’t want to fund Planned Parenthood.”
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Rowden said Missourians do not want their tax dollars going to abortion groups, and state lawmakers are dedicated to making that happen.
“In a sometimes very hotly contested, fractured caucus, from day to day, that’s one thing I can guarantee you we agree on,” he said.
Missouri has been trying to strip tax dollars from the abortion chain for years, but Planned Parenthood repeatedly has challenged these efforts in court and won. Many states have tried but only a few, including Texas and Arkansas, have succeeded in defunding the abortion chain.
State pro-life leaders are hopeful that Missouri will be victorious this time. A past effort by the state legislature to defund the abortion chain was struck down in court, but Samuel Lee, director of Campaign Life Missouri, told LifeNews in February that he believes the new spending bill “fully complies with what was set forth by the Missouri Supreme Court in its unanimous Medicaid Expansion ruling.”
If the court does not block the state action, abortion groups will be defunded from the state Medicaid program starting Saturday, according to the Independent.
Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood also is begging the Biden administration for help.
“For more than a year, we’ve warned the Biden administration: Missourians are in danger of losing access to their health care,” St. Louis Planned Parenthood CEO Yamelsie Rodriguez said in a statement. “Now, we are pleading with them: enforce Medicaid law immediately. Missouri is the fourth state to violate federal law, and without enforcement, it won’t be the last.”
The Biden administration already is thwarting other states’ efforts. This week, it gave $500,000 in federal tax dollars to a New Hampshire Planned Parenthood after the state defunded it.
Planned Parenthood leaders argued that the change will hurt Missourians’ access to health care, but the abortion chain does not provide much health care. Former CEO Leana Wen said its “core mission” is abortion, and its own annual reports show that the few actual health services that it does provide, such as birth control, cancer screenings and sterilizations, have been dropping steadily in recent years, while its abortion numbers have been increasing.
Medicaid funds do not pay for abortions directly (Planned Parenthood is lobbying federal lawmakers to change that), but they do indirectly fund Planned Parenthood’s vast abortion business. According to its most recently annual report, it received $616.8 million in government funding nationally, approximately 90 percent of which came from Medicaid.
Missourians support legal protections for unborn babies, and it likely would be one of 26 states that would ban abortions completely if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
A 2021 poll from Saint Louis University/YouGov found that 56 percent of Missourians support legislation to ban abortions after eight weeks, including 57 percent of women. In contrast, 33 percent said they oppose such legislation and 11 percent said they are not sure.