Missouri’s Supreme Court is set to decide if the state can block Planned Parenthood from receiving taxpayer-funded Medicaid reimbursements.
Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem had ruled in December that it was unconstitutional for the state to block Planned Parenthood from receiving the funds.
Last week, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey filed an appeal for the Department of Social Services, which handles the Medicaid payouts.
The Joplin Globe reports, “In 2020, the Missouri Supreme Court struck down language in a budget bill that excluded abortion providers or their affiliates from receiving Medicaid reimbursements, calling it a ‘naked attempt’ to legislate through a budget bill. And the issue itself has been around for decades: Missouri lawmakers have been attempting to restrict public funds from going to Planned Parenthood since the mid-1990s.”
“The idea that the state Legislature is required to fund Planned Parenthood is ridiculous,” Attorney General Andrew Bailey said in a statement Thursday to The Independent.
Yamelsie Rodríguez, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, said in a statement obtained by the outlet that she is confident “the Supreme Court will — yet again — reject this clear political attack on a trusted health care provider and affirm the lower court’s ruling in favor of Planned Parenthood.”
“Our elected leaders should stop playing games with their constituents’ health care and putting our patients’ health care access at risk,” Rodríguez added.
Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit against Missouri’s Department of Social Services in March 2022. The organization argued that the state cannot deny Medicaid funding for non-abortion services they provide, including STI tests.