Birth Control Ban in Missouri

Via the Kansas City Star:

The Missouri House voted Wednesday to ban state funding of contraceptives for low-income women and to prohibit state-funded programs from referring those women to other programs.

But the proposalĂ‚’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Susan Phillips of Kansas City, said contraceptive services were an inappropriate use of tax dollars. "If doctors want to give contraception privately or personally, they can,"” Phillips said. "But we don'’t need to pay for contraception with taxpayer funds."

The Budget Committee had approved expenditures on screenings for breast and cervical cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, infertility treatments and contraception.

Phillips'’ amendment eliminated infertility treatments and contraception, and substituted alternatives to abortion and prenatal care for the purpose of giving birth. It also prohibited spending on any treatment and referrals for any treatment not spelled out in the budget.
Even Rep. Rob Schaaf, a Republican and a Family Doctor came out against it.

This is insidious for two reasons. First, by targeting low income women, the Republicans have chosen a group with very low political efficacy. Second, the new budget forbids any reference to or suggestion of other places to get contraception.

This will either be the end of reproductive freedom for women and the easy availability of contraceptives for everyone or it will be the end of the current Christianist hold on the Republican Party. If regular Republican voters start to think that they won't be able to get their birth control, the current iteration of the Republican Party may not look quite so good. I hope the Republicans are overstepping...

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