The measure would establish a priority list of organizations that could receive state funding for family planning.
The organization Planned Parenthood is not explicitly included in the list, but it would not be explicitly included.
“State funds for family planning is about prioritizing”, Sen. Wayne Wallingford, R-Cape Girardeau, told the committee.“This bill does not remove funding. It doesn’t cut funding. What its main goal is to prioritize."
M'Evie Mead, State Director of Organizing at Planned Parenthood affiliates in Missouri, spoke in opposition of the bill.
“What it does really is in that list of priorities exclude the experts in family planning care, so what the bill would do is say when it comes to giving out family planning funding, we as a state would decide to exclude the experts in family planning care," she said.
Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-St. Louis County, said the number one reason why people go into the emergency room is the STDs, because there are people who are sexually uneducated”.
Laura Sandaval, Senior from Washington University opposed the bill, “This legislation targets the most vulnerable women in our state, expand the Medicaid to women and family planning centers are the only option for many women”.
The committee took no immediate action on the bill.
For many years, abortion rights opponents in Missouri's legislature -- from both parties -- have sought to restrict or completely block state family planning funds from going to organizations that provide abortion services or refer women to abortion providers.
Missouri Digital News is produced by Missouri Digital News, Inc. -- a non profit organization of current and former journalists.