Taxpayer dollars should not be used to fund organizations that mislead women, Senator says
JEFFERSON CITY, MO (STL.News) All pregnancy resource centers receiving state funding would be required to provide clients with unbiased, medically accurate information about birth control, pregnancy, abortion, adoption, labor and delivery and postpartum care under Senate Bill 790, the “Truth in Medicine Act,” sponsored by Missouri State Senator Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur.
“Missouri has the 6th-highest rate of maternal mortality, meaning too many Missouri women are dying from complications in pregnancy. We must ensure that the medical information women are receiving is accurate, honest and comprehensive,” Sen. Schupp said. “Simply put, taxpayer dollars should not be used to fund organizations that mislead women.”
Pregnancy resource centers are often run by groups opposed to birth control and abortion. Many centers either don’t discuss the full range of options women may consider or mischaracterize birth control and abortion, widely considered one of the safest medical procedures. Additionally, volunteers and employees of pregnancy resource centers often wear lab coats to appear as trained/licensed medical professionals.
With the governor’s signature of House Bill 126 in 2019, Missouri expanded taxpayer support of pregnancy resource centers, while greatly restricting Missouri women’s access to reproductive services. This new law removed caps on the amount of tax credits available to crisis pregnancy centers statewide, and increased allowable tax credits for individual contributors. Neither of these funding expansions included any accountability measures to ensure that the information provided by these organizations is medically accurate.
Under Sen. Schupp’s proposal, organizations that violate the provisions of SB 790 would not be eligible to receive state funding or benefit from tax incentives or credits.