Planned Parenthood supporters call Schaefer\'s budget proposal \"reckless\"

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JEFFERSON CITY - Dozens gathered at the Capitol to support reproductive and preventive health services.

The group gave a news conference to speak out against Sen. Kurt Schaefer's, R-Columbia, budget proposal regarding Planned Parenthood and preventive health services.

It would reject $8 million in federal tax dollars that fund preventive health care services.

Thursday's event included a plea to Gov. Jay Nixon to reject the proposal.

"We're calling on the governor to reject the language because of the negative impact on Planned Parenthood patients," said M'Evie Mead, Planned Parenthood Missouri Director of Statewide Organizing. "What would happen unless the governor acts, is that Planned Parenthood patients who rely on publicly funded preventive care that, including cancer screenings, birth control and annual exams, would be discriminated against and they couldn't choose Planned Parenthood for their care."

Mead and other Planned Parenthood supporters had harsh words for the measure.

"I think Senator Schaefer's proposal is reckless, fiscally irresponsible and that, when the people of Missouri learn that he rejected, spent, $8 million of their tax dollars in an attack on a health care organization as prominent and well-respected as Planned Parenthood, that people will not be supportive of that."

Mead said a similar situation in Texas could be a warning for Missouri.

"When a similar proposal was enacted in Texas, we saw that women were less likely to choose the most effective form of birth control and that unintended births went much higher with women who were in need of publicly funded care," Mead said. "So it had very negative health outcomes for the women of Texas, and we should not be taking our lead from Texas' bad health outcomes as a result of this measure."

KOMU 8 News reached out to Sen. Schaefer for comment, but his office said he was too busy to comment.