Mo. Abortion Funding Cuts Upheld
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ A judge Tuesday upheld a law aimed at stopping state funding of family planning agencies affiliated with abortion providers, ruling that Planned Parenthood must give back money it has received this year and can’t get any more.
The Missouri Legislature acted legally when it imposed the budget restrictions, Cole County Circuit Judge Byron Kinder ruled.
He agreed with the state’s arguments that both Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Western Missouri did not qualify for family planning money because they make referrals for or provide abortions.
And he said Planned Parenthood’s abortion provider services shared equipment, employee salaries, and facilities with its family planning units.
Missouri lawmakers have sought for several years to ban Planned Parenthood from allowing any state funding from being used to subsidize abortion services.
Planned Parenthood had countered that no state money was used for that purpose.
A spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc. headquarters in New York, Adina Wingate Quijada, refused to comment because its lawyers hadn’t reviewed Kinder’s decision.
However, previous statements by the organization made an appeal appear certain.
Kinder’s ruling said the Planned Parenthood family planning affiliates in St. Louis and Kansas City must pay back $105,750, plus interest, that they were paid for services delivered in July and August.
In addition, they are barred from receiving an additional $697,650 during the rest of the budget year, which ends next June 30.
Planned Parenthood said it had expected to serve about 5,300 women across Missouri with the state funding.