Missouri Must Continue to Fund Planned Parenthood, State Supreme Court Rules

By Published on February 15, 2024

Missouri must continue to allow taxpayer dollars to flow to Planned Parenthood, the state’s supreme court ruled on Wednesday.

The Missouri Supreme Court ruled that a 2022 state budget measure cutting Planned Parenthood off from state funds was unconstitutional, according to court documents. The legal dispute stemmed from a line in the state’s 2022 budget, which allocated $0 in Medicaid funds for any healthcare organization that provides abortions or is affiliated with an abortion provider, the Missouri Independent reported.

The high court ruling upheld a decision from a lower court that held that Missouri’s attempt to block Planned Parenthood from public funding was unconstitutional.

A trial judge initially ruled against Missouri’s move, finding that it violated a state constitutional requirement that laws must be centered around a “single subject” and that it violated Planned Parenthood’s equal protection rights.

Republican Attorney General Andrew Bailey’s office failed to address the equal protection claim, the high court’s ruling says.

The lower court found that to “deny access to funds [to Planned Parenthood] that are otherwise available to other MO HealthNet providers is ineffective and/or unconstitutional,” according to the Missouri Independent.

While the majority of the Missouri Supreme Court’s judges were appointed by Republican governors, some conservatives have expressed frustration with decisions they see as having been too liberal, the Kansas City Star reported.

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Abortion is legal only in cases of medical emergency in Missouri, according to state law.

Planned Parenthood was already barred from receiving Medicaid reimbursements for abortion services prior to the 2022 budget being passed, according to The Associated Press.

While Planned Parenthood isn’t reimbursed for providing abortions in Missouri, it can still receive taxpayer-funded compensation for its other services, such as distributing birth control, the AP reported.

The attorney general’s office has pursued other avenues to scrutinize Planned Parenthood recently.

The office, for instance, successfully forced Planned Parenthood to turn over documents “relating to gender transition interventions they performed on minors,” according to a press release.

The Missouri Attorney General’s office did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

 

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