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Missouri Governor

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson speaks after being sworn in as the state's 57th governor following the resignation of Eric Greitens Friday, June 1, 2018, in Jefferson City, Mo. Parson moved from lieutenant governor to governor after Greitens stepped down Friday amid investigations of his political and personal life.(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Gov. Mike Parson has signed two measures to block thousands of Missouri patients from accessing preventive health care from Planned Parenthood centers across the state.

According to the new budget he signed, Medicaid reimbursements for health care providers who also provide abortions are now banned. With this bill, more than 7,000 low-income youth, pregnant women, adults, seniors and people with disabilities in Missouri can no longer use Medicaid to access preventive health care services at Planned Parenthood because Gov. Parson believes in his right to control your body.

Gov. Parson's defunding of Planned Parenthood will hurt the St. Louis community. His work serves to undo the sacrifices we have made over the past 30 years to bring accessible and affordable health care to the St. Louis area.

In 1993, St. Louis recorded 870 new HIV cases. In 2014, we hit a new low of 224 new HIV cases, in part because of the efforts Planned Parenthood has made with the larger public health community.

This ban only blocks access to preventive services Planned Parenthood provides, which include birth control access/education, pregnancy testing, cancer and HIV screening, because there is already a prohibition on using federal money to fund abortions. It was already law that Medicaid reimbursements could only cover these other critical services Planned Parenthood provides for our community in order to keep our people healthy. Now Gov. Parson wants to stop us from taking care of our health.

Sid Rana  •  Chesterfield