MO House issues recommendations on Planned Parenthood
JEFFERSON CITY - Two Missouri House committees revealed their findings from investigations into Planned Parenthood Wednesday morning.
Missouri House Committees on Children and Families and Ways and Means proposed a list of recommendations that they plan to address regarding women's health issues.
One of the reccommendations says, "We can do a better in addressing Missouri women's healthcare needs."
It would require re-prioritizing public funding to be granted to public health centers, federally-qualified health clinics, and rural health clinics.
Rep. Diane Franklin, R-Camdenton, chair of Children and Families, said the proposal is not intended restrict funding to Planned Parenthood but to "expand more comprehensive services" to fund other resources, such as cancer screening, ultrasound services, women's health exams and primary care services.
Both Franklin and Rep. Andrew Koenig, R-Valley Park, stated in the letter to the speaker: "This would be a better, more efficient use of Missouri taxpayer dollars."
Franklin said, "Our healthcare dollars are only going to a very limited scope of healthcare that can be provided to them. We think that a broader scope where they can receive full medical care would be a better use of that funding."
Planned Parenthood representatives said they were very disappointed with the House committee's recommendations and hoped to see plans for expanding Medicaid services and funding.
"In this report there is nothing I see that would protect womens health," said M'Evie Mead, director of statewide organizing for Planned Parenthood.
According to Franklin's office, the re-priorization of funds would designate money based on the entity that applies. That means, depending on who applies, funding would be allocated to Federally Qualified Health Clinics and Rural health clinics before other non-profits, such as Planned Parenthood.
Mead said the proposal to "re-prioritize funds" will still greatly affect Planned Parenthood, because many of its patients are low-income individuals who need its services. Mead said it is discriminatory and bad public policy for legislators to determine how the money is spent.
"We are able to provide those patients with services because we get reimbursed by Medicaid, if our funds are "re-prioritized" we won't be able to do that," M'Evie said.
The recommendations include:
1. "We can do a better in addressing Missouri women's healthcare needs."
2. "We can do better to assure Missourians that fetal body parts are not being sold in Missouri."
3. "We can do better to assure humane and dignified disposition of the aborted."
Franklin has filed four abortion bills in response to the hearings and is planning to introduce at least two more concerning family planning funding prioritization and legislative oversight.
Koenig has introduced legislation regarding the abortion-to-disposal process for tracking and reporting purposes.
Below, are links to those current bills:
According to the office of Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, the Senate has not yet released a report of its investigation findings. Its committee was extended to meet until May 2016.