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Letter to the Editor: Pro-life language must be included in FRA renewal

In Missouri, for many years we have prohibited the use of Missouri tax dollars from paying for abortions and destructive embryonic stem cell research with language in several budget bills. Last year, the Missouri Supreme Court held that doing that in the budget was unconstitutional. We must pass this language in a piece of legislation. 

The federal reimbursement allowance (FRA) is legislation that allows Missouri to recoup the federal part of the Medicaid program and reimburse for services. The legislature failed to pass it in the regular session before the May 14 deadline. It must be passed and will now be brought back to the legislature in a special session. 

Missouri Right to Life is asking the legislature to attach language to the Federal Reimbursement Allowance (FRA) legislation that would prevent our federal tax dollars from going to abortion providers or paying for abortion-causing drugs. The ban on abortion-causing drugs amendment will prohibit public tax dollars from paying for only the four abortion-causing drugs that Hobby Lobby asked not to pay for in their health insurance plans. The U.S. Supreme Court sided with Hobby Lobby. The misinformation being released by Democratic leadership about banning all contraception is blatantly false information.

The actual number of this bill will not be determined until the special session is called by the governor. Texas and Arkansas are currently excluding Planned Parenthood from their states’ Medicaid programs and have been successful in maintaining this position through the federal appeals court process. Missouri is on firm legal ground to also exclude Planned Parenthood if we enact legislation to do so.

There are two pro-life amendments being proposed for the FRA legislation in this special session. Missouri Right to Life supports both pro-life amendments.  

Without both, the ban on public funding of abortion providers and the ban on the public paying for abortion drugs, Missouri Right to Life will oppose the FRA at every step in the process.

With supermajorities in the House and Senate, there is no reason not to pass both pro-life amendments. In 2019, Missouri passed the “Missouri Stands With the Unborn” legislation, HB 126. We call upon our governor and all other statewide officials and the legislature to prove that we stand with the unborn. We must not let the Biden/Harris administration force Missourians to pay for abortions when they take away the Hyde Amendment that has been in place for 40 years. And with the Missouri Supreme Court decision that the state cannot legislate in budget bills, it is time to put both of these pieces of pro-life language in statute.