Missouri cuts off Medicaid funds from Planned Parenthood

May 9, 2024

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) signed a bill Thursday that kicks Planned Parenthood in the state off Medicaid funding.

The bill, which is expected to go into effect later this year, makes it unlawful for any public funds to be sent to any abortion facility or “any affiliate or associate of such abortion facility.”

Missouri now joins Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas, according to Planned Parenthood, as states that have blocked the organization from receiving Medicaid funding.

Republicans in Missouri have tried for years to block Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood, even after the organization stopped performing abortions in the state.

Since the 2022 reversal of Roe v. Wade, abortion has been almost completely banned in Missouri with limited exceptions under a so-called trigger law that took effect shortly after the Supreme Court decision.

Planned Parenthood clinics in the state have continued to operate, providing patients with services like contraceptive care, STI testing, cancer screenings and wellness checks, the Missouri Independent reported.

Missouri Planned Parenthood locations are affiliated with clinics in Kansas and Illinois, neighboring states with less restrictive abortion laws. Republicans argue no money should go to Planned Parenthood in Missouri because people at the Missouri locations could advise people to travel to other states to get abortion services.

“Our administration has been the strongest pro-life administration in Missouri history,” Parson said in a statement. “We’ve ended all abortions in this state, approved new support for mothers, expecting mothers, and children, and with this bill, ensured that we are not sending taxpayer dollars to abortion providers for any purpose.”

Democrats and abortion advocates have argued that the bill will target the state’s most vulnerable population, and those who used Planned Parenthood for services other than abortion.

The St. Louis and Southwest Missouri chapter of Planned Parenthood said the bill would restrict access to non-abortion related care to low-income people in the state.

“Just like [Missouri’s] abortion ban, ‘defunding’ is about power & control; it’s part of the fight to make sure Missourians — not politicians — control their bodies, lives, & futures!” the chapter posted online.

The chapter said its clinics remain open at this time. Planned Parenthood Great Plains CEO and President Emily Wales told the Missouri Independent that Missouri’s clinics have been without Medicaid reimbursements for two years and have offset the costs through private fundraising.

Planned Parenthood Great Plains covers Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas.

Nearly one in five of Planned Parenthood’s Missouri patients are on Medicaid, the outlet reported.