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Are Missouri Republicans Trying to Outlaw Birth Control?
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Are Missouri Republicans Trying to Outlaw Birth Control?


On Wednesday, former Sen. Claire McCaskill claimed that Missouri Republicans were attempting to “outlaw birth control.”

The Missouri state legislature met for a special session starting Wednesday to discuss Medicaid funding. The central issue the legislators are debating is the renewal of the Federal Reimbursement Allowance, a tax that helps fund Medicaid in Missouri. Some Republicans in the Missouri legislature blocked the renewal on the grounds that it allows for state funds to go to abortion providers like Planned Parenthood and to reimburse the purchase of certain types of contraceptives, including including Plan B and IUDs. Now, Republicans are preparing for another special session sometime next week in order to discuss this specific issue—whether Medicaid should fund such expenses—more in depth.

Contrary to what McCaskill claims in her tweet, even if the bill drafted by Republican Senate Appropriations Chairman Sen. Dan Hegeman is passed, birth control would not be outlawed. Hegeman’s bill would prevent Medicaid participants from using their insurance coverage to pay for certain types of contraceptives. The bill would not prevent Medicaid users from paying for those contraceptives out of pocket, nor would it prevent private insurance companies from including them in their coverage.

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Alec Dent is a former culture editor and staff writer for The Dispatch.