A conservative Republican's surprise proposal caused some hand-wringing by abortion rights supporters in the House. Caroline Noel reports from Jefferson City.
During a House debate over funding for public health services, St. Joseph Representative Charlie Shields proposed a fairly radical plan, coming from a conservative Republican. He wants to earmark $11.4 million for the creation of new family planning clinics statewide. The catch, for abortion rights supporters, was that such funds would come only if Planned Parenthood money was cut substantially.
Before the House floor, Shields defended his refusal to continue funding for Planned Parenthood. He asked, "Are they going to go belly up because they didn't receive their portion of 6 million dollars? I don't think so, they didn't receive anything before 1993 from this state."
Shields' proposed clinics would be state-run and therefore could not perform abortions. While his amendment passed, the overall appropriations bill awaits final House approval. From the Capital, this is Caroline Noel.