Missouri Legislature considers bill to defund Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood, abortion

On Wednesday, Missouri House lawmakers considered legislation that would prevent taxpayer dollars from going to institutions that commit abortions or toward any of their affiliate groups. Currently, Planned Parenthood runs the state’s only abortion facility. 

House Bill 1854, sponsored by Rep. Nick Schroer, would stop Planned Parenthood and its affiliates from receiving funds through the Missouri Medicaid program. The bill would also require the Department of Health and Senior Services to disqualify institutions from the taxpayer-funded program if there is a “conviction of crimes related to fraud and patient care” or if they show “patterns of discrimination.”

“It fully defunds Planned Parenthood pursuant to the Supreme Court decision, giving guidance to the Legislature and also enacts protections at the state level to ensure that your tax dollars are not subsidizing the heinous act of abortion,” Schroer said.

“This is a very important issue to the pro-life community, and it has been for decades,” said Samuel Lee, director of Campaign Life Missouri, during the hearing. “I want to go back to the fact that the Missouri Supreme Court in June of 2020 said if the legislature wants to defund Planned Parenthood you have to do it by statute.”

In 2020, the Missouri Planned Parenthood came close to shutting down after the state refused to renew its license. It was allowed to remain open, however, despite multiple reports of botched abortions and an astounding number of patient injuries. This new legislation from Missouri lawmakers, however, could potentially strip dangerous abortion entities like this one of state taxpayer dollars.

READ: Author of Missouri’s ‘Empower Women, Protect Life’ Act looks to follow Texas’ lead

Pro-life lawmaker Rep. Tony Lovasco voiced concerns about some of the language in the bill regarding discrimination and potential problems that could arise, stating, “I am concerned that perhaps using a set of least political views by a founder of an organization as a test to determine whether they qualify — we might be on some shaky First Amendment grounds there.”

Lovasco is referring to a section of the bill that disqualifies institutions that have “a pattern of intentional discrimination in the delivery or nondelivery of any health care item or service based on the race, color, or national origin of recipients, as described in 42 U.S.C. Section 2000d, or was founded by a person who supported eugenics as the solution for racial, political, and social problems and who advocated for the use of birth control for ‘the elimination of the unfit’ and stopping ‘the reproduction of the unfit.’”

It seems the bill could be specifically referring to Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger — who believed certain groups of people, such as the poor and the mentally disabled, should be disqualified from having children. A number of eugenic organizations were instrumental in bringing the abortion pill to the U.S.

Regardless of whether Planned Parenthood and its employees still support Sanger’s original vision, taxpayers are today financially supporting an organization that commits more than 354,000 abortions annually while receiving $618.1 in taxpayer dollars according to recent reports.

Editor’s Note, 1/15/21: This piece has been updated. 

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