The Missouri House passed a broad pro-life bill Wednesday to defund the abortion chain Planned Parenthood and protect babies from abortion.
Lawmakers voted 91-37 in favor of state House Bill 2012, which now heads to the state Senate for consideration. Along with defunding abortion groups of tax dollars, the legislation also would ban mail-order abortion drugs, ban the donation of aborted babies’ bodies and require medical care for babies who are born alive in botched abortions.
Before the vote, state Rep. Hannah Kelly, R-Mountain Grove, the lead sponsor of the bill, said the pro-life legislation strengthens Missouri’s commitment to protecting unborn life, according to St. Louis Public Radio.
“Today was a good day in the Missouri House. We passed out HB 2012 that sends a resounding message: Missouri continues to stand and protect unborn lives in our State. Now the bill goes to the Senate. My deepest thanks to my Colleagues for their leadership in helping this package,” Kelly wrote afterward on Twitter.
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. Kelly’s bill would defund Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups, their affiliates and associates of state tax dollars through Medicaid and other programs.
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The Springfield News-Leader reports pro-abortion groups and Democrat lawmakers criticized the bill, arguing that defunding Planned Parenthood would reduce access to sexual and reproductive health care in Missouri.
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 and cancer screenings, 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.
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.
Another measure in the Missouri bill would protect both mothers and unborn babies by banning mail-order abortion drugs. Last year, the Biden administration got rid of safety regulations for the abortion drug mifepristone and began allowing it to be distributed without direct medical supervision. Now, abortion businesses are selling the dangerous drug through the mail without ever seeing or even talking to the woman.
The legislation also would protect babies who are born alive in botched abortions by requiring that they receive the same care that a medical worker would provide to any other baby born at the same gestational age. Families of babies who are denied this care may sue the abortionist for wrongful death.
Other parts of the bill would make it illegal to hoard aborted babies’ bodies in a setting outside a hospital, medical facility or abortion facility, and ban the donation of aborted babies’ bodies to research.
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.