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Mo. House grants initial approval to cut Planned Parenthood funding, strengthen parental involvement laws

The Missouri House last week voted to give initial approval to two antiabortion-rights budget amendments and one bill, the Joplin Globe reports.

The state House must hold a final vote on each item before it can advance to the Senate.

Details on proposed amendments

On Tuesday, the state House voted to approve two antiabortion-rights amendments to the proposed state budget.

The first amendment, sponsored by state Rep. Rob Ross (R), would cut $380,000 in pharmacy and physician Medicaid reimbursement funding from the state Department of Social Services' (DSS) overall budget. According to the Globe, Planned Parenthood in fiscal year 2014 received about $380,000 in such reimbursements for family planning services, pregnancy tests, medical exams and vaccinations provided to low-income patients. Of that total, $220 was used to reimburse for emergency abortion care.

The amendment also would divert about $55,000 in state funds from Planned Parenthood to the state's education department.

While the amendment does not mention Planned Parenthood by name, Ross said the aim of the bill was to block the allocation of any funds to abortion providers. According to the Globe, Missouri law already makes it illegal for state money to be used to fund abortion care.

The second amendment would prohibit DSS from funding providers who offer abortion care in non-emergencies and those who "counsel women to have an abortion not necessary to save the life of the [woman]."

During floor debate on the budget bill, lawmakers who opposed the amendments said the proposals targeted services for low-income state residents who could not afford providers with higher rates.

Details on parental involvement bill

On Wednesday, the state House voted 109-35 to give initial approval to a bill (HB 1370) that would require the consenting guardian of a minor seeking abortion care to provide written notification to other guardians before the procedure (Thomas, Joplin Globe, 3/9).

The bill was pre-filed in December by state Rep. Rocky Miller (R) (Women's Health Policy Reports, 12/21/15).