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House Bill Would Cut Family Planning Funding

April 22, 2003
By: Matt Talhelm
State Capital Bureau

The House gave initial approval to a bill that would stop state money from funding abortion services.

Under the bill, if a health or social service program receives public funds, it cannot use that money to encourage abortion.

The bill makes it illegal for publicly funded organizations to provide information or counseling about abortion options.

Republican Representative Jason Crowell says the bill also stops research into abortion methods.

Actuality: crowell.wav
RunTime: 10
OutCue: "..abortion services."
Contents: "I don't think the state of Missouri should be spending money to try to enable people to patent projects, processes, or products that provide abortions or abortion services."

Opponents, however, say the bill would likely stop medical research that has nothing to do with abortions. The bill faces final House approval before moving on to the Senate.


A House bill which would stop state money from promoting abortion services received initial approval.

Matt Talhelm explains from Jefferson City.

The bill's approval comes just one day after Governor Holden said he would block any anti-abortion legislation.

The bill makes it illegal for publicly-funded health and social services programs to provide information or counseling about abortions.

Democratic Representative Margaret Donnelly says she worries that health providers will cut services out of fear of being taken to court.

Actuality:
RunTime: :13
OutCue: "...from this bill."
Contents: "Services that really are not at all related to abortions could end up being terminated by agencies because they are so fearful of the consequences from this bill."

Supporters say state funds shouldn't go toward services and research which promote abortions.


Just one day after Governor Holden threated to block any legislation that cuts family planning services, the House gave its intitial approval to a bill that does just that.

Matt Talhelm has more from Jefferson City.

The bill would cut public funds from health and social services programs which provide information and counseling about abortion.

On Tuesday, the Governor said such legislation wouldn't make it past his desk.

Democratic Representative Margaret Donnelly says the bill will scare family planning services with the threat of lawsuits.

Actuality: donnell2.wav
RunTime: 14
OutCue: "...taken to court."
Contents: "Some providers of needed services might withdraw and no longer provide those services because they simply can't take the risk of litigation or having someone file a suite against them and take them to court."

Supporters of the bill say taxpayers "should" have the right to sue publicly funded organizations that endorse abortion services. The bill still needs final approval in the House.