Planned Parenthood raises money to continue services

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COLUMBIA - Planned Parenthood hosted an event Thursday night geared toward raising money to continue providing services at its Columbia health center.

Planned Parenthood served chili and had a bake auction. The organization sold tickets for entry, which brought in the majority of the money. Supporters baked cookies and pies which were auctioned off to help the cause. Raffle tickets were also sold to bring in money.

The president of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri Laura McQuade said insurance provides most of the funding, but for education and other areas the organization has to raise funds. 

"We need to build support in the community, and this is one of the events that we do that," McQuade said.

She said that due to the recent attack on Planned Parenthood nationally and locally, specifically from MU revoking privileges, supporters have joined together to show the organization's importance. 

"We are a health care provider, and the importance of the services that we provide here in Columbia is critical to this community," McQuade said. "We have deep abiding support, not only in the community, but specifically with the university."

An investigation was launched against Planned Parenthood which resulted in the ending of MU's contract with the organization. 

Republican lawmakers said the contract was illegal, because MU is a public institution and taxpayer funds are not to be used to pay for abortions. MU Health Care said the law did not apply because McNicholas was not an employee of the system and was only able to refer patients to the hospital and then follow their progress.

After an outcry from Republican lawmakers, MU Health Care revoked McNicholas' privileges, prompting protests by supporters of Planned Parenthood, who said the university should not have cut relations.