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JEFFERSON CITY, MO - The clock runs out on Missouri's 2021 Legislative Session at 6:00 p.m. this Friday, but extremist lawmakers are playing political games that could discriminate against patients and jeopardize the entire Medicaid program.

Statement from M’Evie Mead, Director, Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri:

“The people of Missouri deserve better than to allow two male senators, hell-bent on blocking patients’ access to birth control, to decimate health care access for our state’s most vulnerable people. Hundreds of thousands of Missourians with low incomes — the majority of whom are women — rely on Medicaid to access health care. Senators Onder and Wieland are jeopardizing the entire Medicaid program over birth control coverage.

“Missouri’s health care infrastructure hangs in the balance, and these lawmakers are treating patients’ access to health care as a political game. Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri joins our partners in calling on lawmakers to fund Medicaid without exception. Senators Onder and Weiland: Stop holding Missouri’s Medicaid program hostage over patients’ access to birth control.”

The Federal Reimbursement Allowance (FRA) is a must-pass measure. It funds about one-third of Missouri's entire Medicaid program. Lawmakers typically renew the FRA each year without much fanfare, but this year, senators hostile to reproductive freedom are trying to weaponize it. Their two-pronged attack looks like this:

  • Adding language to ban emergency contraception and common forms of birth control, like IUDs, for Medicaid patients. The anti-contraception efforts could risk the entire Medicaid program because federal law requires Medicaid to fund contraception.

  • Adding language to “defund” Planned Parenthood — which really means blocking thousands of Medicaid patients from getting essential care like birth control, cancer screenings, and STI testing at Planned Parenthood health centers. The data is clear: When politicians block patients from Planned Parenthood, fewer patients get the care they need.

Missouri's Medicaid program is too important for the political games going on in Jefferson City right now.

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Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri fights for reproductive freedom for all Missourians. It is a joint project of Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes and Advocates of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, the political and advocacy arms of both Planned Parenthood affiliates in Missouri.