Missouri Supreme Court Rules that Legislators Improperly Defunded Planned Parenthood

On Tuesday, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that a provision in a state appropriations bill that would have prohibited Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid payments is unconstitutional. At issue was section 11.800 of HB 2011, the appropriations bill for the Department of Social Services for FY 2019. That provision states "No funds shall be expended to any abortion facility as defined in Section 188.015, or any affiliate or associate thereof." This provision prohibited Planned Parenthood from receiving reimbursement through the Medicaid program for its family planning and other non-abortion services. The federal Hyde Amendment prohibits the funding of abortion through Medicaid and that provision remains unchanged with this ruling. 

Planned Parenthood challenged the denial of its reimbursement claims to the Missouri Administrative Hearing Commission, which ruled against the abortion provider. It then successfully challenged the ruling in the St. Louis City Circuit Court, which held that the defunding language was unconstitutional. In a 6-1 ruling, the Missouri Supreme Court upheld the circuit court ruling. The court stated that section 11.800 improperly amended a general law requiring Medicaid reimbursement for physicians' services and family planning, and was therefore unconstitutional.

July 7, 2020 - 6:18am
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