Missouri Family E-News

May 30, 2018

                                        
Legislature  
Axes Funding for Planned Parenthood   
 
The Missouri Legislature has approved a budget for the coming year that guarantees that no state government funding will be allocated to affiliates of Planned Parenthood.   
 
Legislators approved an amendment to an appropriation bill that prohibits state agencies from providing reimbursement for health care services to any provider that also performs abortions.
 
The budget amendment was offered by Representative Robert Ross of Yukon, and will have its major impact on services that qualify for reimbursement under the Medicaid program.
 
The Missouri General Assembly had adopted similar restrictive language in the budget two years ago, but Representative Ross says that Planned Parenthood had concocted a "shell game" to still access state funding.
 
Missouri House Budget Committee Chairman Scott Fitzpatrick of Shell Knob says that the latest amendment will close a "loophole" that Planned Parenthood exploited to secure state taxpayer funding.
 
M'evie Mead, director of policy for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Missouri, argues that the Legislature's action will increase infant and maternal mortality rates in the state.
 
Yet Medicaid-eligible pregnant women will still be able to access the same services at county health departments, rural health clinics, and other federally qualified health centers.
 
The budget approved for fiscal year 2019 includes $15.7 million for the "Show-Me Healthy Babies" program, which provides health care coverage for children from lower-income families that do not qualify for Medicaid.
 
Also included in the budget is $6.5 million for alternatives to abortion programs that are provided by pregnancy resource centers, maternity homes, and other agencies, to assist women with unplanned pregnancies.
 
In a desperation move to salvage state funding for Planned Parenthood, pro-abortion protesters showed up at the State Capitol dressed like characters from the television show "The Handmaid's Tale."
 
The red-robed women argued that the Missouri Legislature was forcing women into "reproductive slavery."  Missouri government's new fiscal year begins on July 1st. 
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President Trump Acts
to Limit Funding of
 Planned Parenthood  
 
The Trump Administration has announced the issuance of a new rule that will likely suspend a major federal government funding source for Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country.  The proposed rule restores restrictions on the use of government grants from the Title X "family planning" program.
 
The Title X initiative was adopted by Congress in 1970 as part of the Public Health Services Act.  It included language that bans the use of Title X funds in programs where abortion is included as a method of "family planning."  The Trump Administration has decided that existing regulations fail to ensure that the federal government is not funding abortions either directly or indirectly.
 
The new regulation contains three key components.  Title X grantees may not perform, promote, or refer for abortions, "nor take any affirmative action to assist a patient to secure an abortion."  Most Planned Parenthood offices function as primary referral agents for abortion providers, including their own abortion clinics.
 
Secondly, the regulation would require that Title X entities be organized and situated such that they are physically and financially separate from abortion activities.  This clarification of the law would prohibit Planned Parenthood from co-locating their "family planning" programs and abortion operations in the same building, which is the norm for many of their major abortion mills throughout the nation.
 
Lastly, Title X agents must document policies they have implemented to ensure that their employees are reporting any suspected incidents of child abuse, sexual abuse, incest, statutory rape, or human trafficking. Undercover videos released in the last few years have revealed Planned Parenthood offices covering up alleged instances of unlawful conduct which resulted in the victim becoming pregnant.   
 
Planned Parenthood affiliates currently receive almost $60 million annually from the Title X program.  It is expected that very few of the regional Planned Parenthood organizations will be able to satisfy the new requirements that mandate a strict separation of their abortion operations from their "family planning" services.  
 
Missouri U.S. Senator Roy Blunt commended President Trump for acting to reinstate Title X stipulations previously put in place by the Reagan Administration that were then revoked by the Clinton Administration.  Senator Blunt has been a leading advocate in Congress in calling for an end to Title X subsidies to Planned Parenthood agencies that are performing abortions in the same facilities in which they are providing federally-subsidized "family planning" services.
 
"Taxpayers should not be forced to fund abortion because of misguided regulations that blur the line between family planning and abortion," Blunt said.  "This new rule will ensure the integrity of the Title X program and redirect resources to community health centers that provide more comprehensive health care services for women."
Dawn Laguens, Vice-President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, charged that the new Title X rules are an attack on women's rights.  "Under this rule, people will not get the healthcare they need.  They won't get birth control, cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, or even general women's health exams."

Laguens' hysterical claims are beyond ludicrous.  There are far more federally qualified health clinics (FQHC's) than Planned Parenthood locations in every state in the nation, and they are situated closer to those seeking their services.  In Missouri, there are as many as 13 Planned Parenthood offices, while there are as many as 588 federally qualified family health centers and rural health clinics.

Jeanne Mancini, President of the March for Life, applauded the latest pro-life action by the Trump Administration.  "Abortion is not healthcare.  Not one dime of Title X funding will be cut under this rule, and the low-income women who those funds are intended to help will receive authentic care at FQHC's which outnumber abortion centers twenty to one.

Bradley Mattes, President of Life Issues Institute, declared the announcement "another major pro-life victory under President Trump."  "Title X is a slush fund for Planned Parenthood.  It is their second biggest source of taxpayer funding.  President Trump has stood up strongly for conscience rights and religious liberty, and has fought hard to stop taxpayer funding of abortion both here at home and abroad."

Earlier this year, President Trump reinstated another Reagan Administration rule known as the Mexico City Policy.  That rule prohibits the distribution of international "family planning" dollars to organizations that provide or promote abortions, such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

Planned Parenthood clinics destroy the lives of approximately 320,000 preborn children each year in the United States.  In the organization's most recent annual report, Planned Parenthood reported income of nearly $1.5 billion, with nearly half a billion dollars coming from state and federal taxpayer funding.

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Missouri Family Policy Council, 1430 Triad Center Dr., Ste. B, St. Peters, MO 63376
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