JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Governor Mike Parson signed two measures aimed at blocking thousands of Missouri patients from accessing preventive care at Planned Parenthood. The bills purport to “defund” Planned Parenthood health centers, which provide thousands of Missouri safety-net patients with vital preventive care including birth control, cancer screenings, and STI testing.
Missouri’s 11 Planned Parenthood health centers are a crucial component of the safety net, providing comprehensive and accessible health care to thousands of patients each year. Planned Parenthood offers Pap tests and a full range of birth control options, including long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) — the most effective form of birth control. Additionally, each Planned Parenthood has evening or weekend hours, and offers patients same-day or next-day appointments in most cases.
A new report has found that besides Planned Parenthood, only seven percent of more than 600 safety-net providers offer comprehensive and accessible care. Missouri’s health care safety net is already strained — it needs more resources, not fewer providers. “Defunding” Planned Parenthood leaves many patients with nowhere to turn for the vital preventive care they need because the remaining health centers cannot absorb them.
Statement from Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri’s M’Evie Mead:
"This is a cruel attack on Missourians most in need, trying to block them from accessing the high-quality care they count on from Planned Parenthood. We will not rest until access to Planned Parenthood is guaranteed for the thousands of underserved patients who choose Planned Parenthood as their health care provider.
“Gov. Parson had a chance to reject former Gov. Greitens’ attacks on women’s health and rights. He has let down thousands of Missourians who depend on Planned Parenthood for their health care. He has ripped a hole in Missouri’s already-strained safety net. Gov. Parson, where will these thousands of patients go for birth control, cancer screenings, and STI testing?”