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Jefferson City, Mo. Just days after passage in the state legislature, Governor Mike Parson signed House Bill 2634 today, barring the state Medicaid program, known as MO HealthNet, from reimbursing Planned Parenthood for providing essential health care to Medicaid patients. This comes despite multiple rulings from Missouri’s highest court that withholding Medicaid reimbursement for care from Planned Parenthood violates the state’s constitution. This legislation also disqualifies Planned Parenthood as a provider in the state’s Medicaid program, dealing a blow to Missouri’s health care safety net, which is already stretched too thin.

HB 2634 severely restricts Missouri Medicaid patients’ access to life-saving health care services. Similar to Texas Senate Bill 8, this is a law designed to entice citizens to sue any health center receiving public funding to provide cancer screenings, wellness exams, STI testing and treatment, and more — even when abortion is not provided. Experts have been clear there are not enough providers in the system to absorb the thousands of patients that Planned Parenthood health centers serve. 

Both the Missouri Supreme Court and the Circuit Court of Cole County have ruled that such “defunding” is unconstitutional. Moreover, this measure violates federal Medicaid law, which guarantees every patients’ right to choose any willing and qualified provider.

Statement from Planned Parenthood Great Plains and Planned Parenthood of St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri:  

“Governor Parson’s decision to sign this bill into law is deeply disappointing and harmful to the tens of thousands of Missourians who rely on Planned Parenthood for essential health care. This bill not only defies the ruling of Missouri’s highest court but also flouts federal Medicaid law. By denying Medicaid patients’ right to receive health care from Planned Parenthood, politicians are directly obstructing access to much-needed health services, including birth control, cancer screenings, annual wellness exams, and STI testing and treatment. 

“Planned Parenthood health centers play a critical role in Missouri’s health care safety net. ‘Defunding’ Planned Parenthood risks the sustainability of the state’s entire health care system and the health of all Missourians who rely on it. We remain committed to fighting for the rights of all Missourians to access the care they need and deserve. We will do everything we can to continue serving our patients in Missouri and beyond with quality, compassionate, live-saving health care.”

This law does not take effect until August 28. Planned Parenthood health centers in Missouri remain open and are committed to expanding care to provide for those who relied on Medicaid for family planning services.

The Missouri Family Health Council reports Planned Parenthood health centers serve nearly half of all patients who rely on family planning safety-net providers in the state. Other providers cannot absorb the thousands of patients impacted by this “defunding” attack. For this reason, Planned Parenthood health centers have worked to keep serving MO HealthNet patients at no cost though it is an unsustainable model for a state’s health care system.


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