ST. LOUIS — Politicians are attempting to use HB 2010 and HB 2011 — the budgets for the Dept. of Health and Senior Services and the Dept. of Social Services — to cut access to family planning care, including birth control and sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and treatment for patients insured through MO HealthNet, Missouri’s Medicaid program.
M’Evie Mead, director of policy and organizing for Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri, issued the following statement:
Missouri is one of the worst states for women and children’s health, ranking 41 out of 50. (Source: Springfield News-Leader, Health of Women and Children Report.) It is unacceptable that lawmakers voted to cut Missourians’ access to preventive care like birth control and STI testing and treatment. This policy will do nothing to improve the health of Missouri women and children — rather, restricting access will lead to worse outcomes. What’s more, this move puts the entire Medicaid program in violation of federal Medicaid law.
Members of the Greitens administration have admitted that Missouri is “getting worse” when it comes to women and children’s health. Now is absolutely NOT the time to take away Missourians’ right to choose their own health care provider. These bills could cut off access to all family planning providers and doctors who have a duty to inform patients of all their options, leaving many Missourians with nowhere to turn for their care.
Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri calls on the Missouri Senate to protect Missourians’ access to basic health care, including birth control and STI testing and treatment, and fix the budget bills.