The Missouri House on Tuesday gave initial approval to a pro-life bill that will defund the Planned Parenthood abortion business.
The measure also bans the sale of aborted baby parts for research and would allow family members to file wrongful death lawsuits if babies are born after an abortion and left to die.
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. The spending bill 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.
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, says this legislation “fully complies with what was set forth by the Missouri Supreme Court in its unanimous Medicaid Expansion ruling.”
“This bill is about standing up for life,” said Rep. Sara Walsh, R-Ashland, whose legislation establishing the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” was added as an amendment to the bill.
Lawmakers also approved an amendment by state Rep. Brian Seitz that would ban distribution of abortion drugs in violation of state or federal laws.
The bill requires a final vote in the House before it is sent to the Senate for consideration.
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The Senate has already approved its own bill to defund Planned Parenthood. During debate, State Sen. Dan Hegeman, R-Cosby, said Missourians have access to many federally qualified health centers that offer more comprehensive health care than abortion groups. He said state taxpayers do not want their money to support groups that abort unborn babies, according to the report.
“This is not the kind of funding that we want to do in Missouri,” Hegeman said. “We’ve had a position in the state of Missouri for the past number of years, much to your chagrin, of us not funding facilities that provide abortions and … affiliates of those facilities.”
Planned Parenthood obviously opposes the bill but polls consistently show Americans oppose taxpayer funding for abortions.
For years, lawmakers in Missouri and other states have been trying to defund Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups of tax 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. Texas recently won a victory in court and succeeded in defunding Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups of millions of tax dollars last year.
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.
While Medicaid funds do not pay for abortions directly (Planned Parenthood is lobbying federal lawmakers to change that), 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.