A new constitutional amendment is set to be filed next session that would prevent the funding of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers through state money, according to sponsor Sen. Bill Eigel.
“I’m going to propose a constitutional amendment that will prohibit any further money from going to Planned Parenthood or any other institution that supports the abortion industry,” Eigel told The Missouri Times.
The amendment would restrict the use of state money, specifically from Medicaid, to fund Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics.
Eigel announced his intention to file the amendment following a ruling by the Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday that found state laws prohibiting the use of Medicaid payments to abortion providers to be unconstitutional. The ruling covered a suit filed two years ago by Planned Parenthood challenging a change to the state’s budget that excluded abortion clinics from Medicaid funding. The court found the constitution does not allow for bills to cover more than one subject, and the restrictions would violate that law.
“I condemn the decision of the Missouri Supreme Court; it causes me to seriously question what constitution these justices are looking at,” Eigel said. “I was very disappointed in the Missouri Supreme Court’s decision to try to force the legislature to send public dollars to Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is one of the most aggressive and widespread supporters of the abortion industry in Missouri, and the idea that public money would be going to such an institution is outrageous in my mind and the minds of a lot of my constituents.”
“This is ridiculous political posturing from Sen. Eigel,” M’Evie Mead, Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri Director of Policy and Organizing, told The Missouri Times. “Missouri is still in a pandemic, Missouri still has a statewide outbreak of syphilis, and Missouri still ranks near the bottom in maternal mortality — in fact, we are one of the few states with a rising maternal mortality rate. Yet Sen. Eigel chooses to double-down on blocking patients from getting the vital health care they need — birth control, cancer screenings, and STI testing and treatment — at Planned Parenthood health centers. Missourians need leadership right now to support our state through the real-life health and economic devastation we’re facing, not extremist proposals from Sen. Eigel.”
Planned Parenthood’s clinic in St. Louis, the only one in the state that offers abortions, won a fight to renew its license as an abortion provider in late May after a year of conflict with the state’s Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS).
If Eigel’s amendment passes through the General Assembly next year, it will then be an item on the statewide ballot.
“We should have done this a while ago,” Eigel said. “This decision has indicated that the time to act is now.”