Missouri Supreme Court Hears Arguments to Prohibit Abortion Funding

Missouri Supreme Court

On Tuesday, the Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments from the state and Planned Parenthood regarding a challenge to the legislature's decision to prohibit any state funds from going to abortion facilities, including funds for non-abortion services. At issue is House Bill 2011, the appropriations bill for the Department of Social Services for fiscal year 2019. The bill states that "No funds shall be expended to any abortion facility as defined in Section 188.015, or any affiliate or associate thereof." 

After Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region was informed that its reimbursement claims for 2019 were denied, it appealed to the Missouri Administrative Hearing Commission, which ruled against the abortion provider. Planned Parenthood then filed a petition in St. Louis Circuit Court, which found HB 2011 unconstitutional.

Planned Parenthood claims that HB 2011 essentially overrides a state law requiring Missouri's Medicaid program to pay for family planning services. The state, through Solicitor General D. John Sauer, argued that a previous legislature cannot "tie the hands of its successor" by requiring it to make a specific appropriation in the future. 

The judges did not indicate when they might issue a ruling on this case.

December 13, 2019 - 11:48am

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