JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Lawmakers in Jefferson City continue to debate if abortion facilities and some contraception like Plan B should be covered under Missouri’s Medicaid Program.
Day two of the special session is complete, but there’s no compromise in sight, as senators continue towards renewing the federal reimbursement allowance, before July 1st.
The biggest holdup: If some contraceptives like Plan B should be covered under subsided healthcare.
“As most of you know the FRA is how we fund our over a billion dollar state Medicaid budget” Says Hegeman (R).
It’s a tax paid by hospitals, that brings in federal dollars.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if the Biden administration is not looking for a state to make examples out of and I just don’t want Missouri to be that state.” Says Cierpiot (R)
And if it’s not renewed by July 1st, the governor says the state faces millions in budget cuts.
The roadblock: Contraceptives like Plan B and abortion facilities.
“Many of our patients have insurance and chose us because they trust us because maybe they’ve been to other providers that stigmatize their sexual health or their choice of birth control.” Says Angie, Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood was one of many who testified in opposition of the added restrictions during a four hour hearing Thursday.
“Our family planning centers don’t prescribe medication abortion which is a medicine you take to end a pregnancy. Medication abortion is not the same as emergency contraception” Says Angie.
Missouri right to life opposes all FRA renewal legislation, saying they want stronger pro-life measures.
“The constituents that sent you here are asking you please, stop our federal tax dollars and our state tax dollars from going to fund abortion providers.” Says Susan.
Some lawmakers are concerned, the limits on contraceptives and healthcare centers, could affect federal dollars.
“I think there’s a lot of uncertainty the path you are proposing we take that could much of our funding for pregnant women and people in nursing homes, people some of those things at risk.” Says Cierpiot.
Others are wanting to see a clean FRA.
“We should be separating the question and making this about funding the FRA and not birth control or even abortion at this point because it’s going to have such a detriment to an adverse impact on so many different entities in the state.” Says Williams (D).
The FRA has been in place in Missouri for nearly 30 years.
Senators will start debating the legislation Friday, with the goal to pass it this weekend, then the house will return next week to vote.