Politicians are trying to cut access to vital preventive services like annual exams, birth control, cancer screenings, and sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and treatment for Missourians insured through Medicaid.
This measure may cut access to hundreds of family planning and women’s health care providers.
By using a ridiculously broad definition of “abortion services” that includes referral, the current versions of House Bills 10 and 11 may cut access to health care at providers throughout the state.
Legally and ethically, providers are obligated to inform patients of all options, including abortion. This measure conflicts with both federal law and health care professionals’ medical ethics.
By conflicting with federal law, this measure could jeopardize Missouri’s entire Medicaid program.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a memo warning that states may not remove approved health care providers simply because they also offer abortion care.
Every state so far that has tried to bar Planned Parenthood and other women’s health care providers from its Medicaid program has been blocked from doing so by federal courts.
Without access to family planning and women’s health care providers, many low-income Missourians will have nowhere to go for care.
With nowhere else to go for family planning and women’s health care, Missourians’ negative health outcomes like maternal and infant mortality, STIs, and unintended pregnancies could rise.
Rural areas and low-income areas of Missouri are already facing a shortage of health care providers — this can only make things worse.
Planned Parenthood in Missouri provides high-quality, affordable health care and education to 50,000 women, men, and young people each year.
In Missouri, Planned Parenthood provides more than 7,000 Medicaid patients annually with preventive care like birth control, cancer screenings, annual exams, and STI testing and treatment.
A recent study of Texas, which chose to eliminate its Medicaid family planning program so it could exclude Planned Parenthood, shows birth control usage fell, while births from unintended pregnancies increased.
This is a waste of taxpayer dollars and another example of misplaced priorities.
Missouri is facing a drastic budget shortfall this year. Gov. Eric Greitens and lawmakers are grappling with cuts to education and health care. Leaving millions of dollars in federal funds on the table is irresponsible.
Instead of cutting access to vital preventive care, lawmakers should focus on measures to improve Missourians health, like expanding Medicaid and reducing infant and maternal mortality rates.
Planned Parenthood in Missouri is a qualified Medicaid provider and is currently serving patients with Medicaid. Planned Parenthood’s promise: “These doors stay open.”