The Missouri Senate this week gave first round approval to a state budget that strips Planned Parenthood of funding for contraceptives and related women’s health services. SenatorKurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) led the effort, noting that Missouri taxpayers don’t want their tax dollars to support agencies that perform abortions.
The money being turned away from Planned Parenthood is federal Medicaid dollars that are appropriated by the state of Missouri. A state that accepts this money must agree to partner with “any willing provider,” which includes Planned Parenthood.
In lieu of the federal money, Senator Schaefer persuaded the Senate to appropriate $8 million in state general revenue for contraceptives and related services but with none of those funds going to Planned Parenthood. Instead, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), Rural Health Centers and County Health Departments would receive the funds; none of these entities perform abortions.
In addition to the specific move to take Medicaid money away from Planned Parenthood, the proposed budget includes a more general provision stating that abortion providers may not receive any funds from the state budget.
The budget bills must be given final approval by the Senate; then a conference committee of Senate and House legislators will work out the differences between the chambers and send the entire budget to Governor Nixon for his consideration.