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Missouri Cuts Abortion Funding

A circuit judge in Cole County, Missouri upheld a law that restricts state funding of family planning agencies affiliated with abortion providers. County Circuit Judge Byron Kinder ruled that Missouri lawmakers were within legal bounds when they imposed such budget restrictions. As a result, Kinder ordered that Planned Parenthood must return the state funds it received this year. Additionally, the organization will not receive family planning funding from the state in the future.

“It is shocking that Planned Parenthood, the largest and the most experienced family planning and reproductive health care provider in Missouri, has been excluded from the state’s family planning program, in spite of the fact that it has complied with all of the Department of Health rules,” said Roger K. Evans, litigation director for Planned Parenthood Federation of America and attorney for the Planned Parenthood affiliates.

Kinder reasoned that because Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Western Missouri make referrals for or provide abortion services, they no longer qualified for family planning funding.

“This dangerous ruling is nothing more than a back-door penalty imposed on Planned Parenthood because, without using a penny of state funds, we provide abortions and stand for freedom of choice in Missouri” said Evans, who asserted that Planned Parenthood would appeal the ruling.

Sources:

AP - November 16, 1999 and PPFA press release, November 17, 1999