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Missouri To Give Planned Parenthood The Boot, Handmaids Protest

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by Grace Carr

Missouri lawmakers passed a spending plan that will ensure Planned Parenthood does not receive funding through the state, and a number of disgruntled protesters dressed up as handmaids to air their grievances.

Despite Missouri’s dedication to life, Planned Parenthood previously received federal funding that allowed the organization to receive money for birth control and cancer screenings allocated to low-income individuals. After forgoing federal funding to allow the state to pay for those services in 2016, GOP lawmakers passed legislation Wednesday ensuring that the abortion organization will not continue to receive funding, according to The News & Observer.

“There should be no loophole that would allow abortion providers to have access [to funding],” Republican House Budget Committee Chairman Scott Fitzpatrick said Wednesday after the legislature passed. He said the previous language before the amendment to the state budget had allowed money to continue funding Planned Parenthood.

“The Legislature has just made a seriously politically motivated attempt to damage and discriminate against those patients,” Missouri Planned Parenthood policy director M’Evie Mead said, the News & Observer reported.

The Missouri House passed a bill in April banning abortion after 20 weeks.

A group of displeased protesters dressed as handmaids marched through the Missouri Capital Thursday, occupying the House and Senate chambers for a time. Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which was picked up for a Hulu series, portrays a dystopian future in which a select group of women are raped to ensure society’s progeny continues.

Protesters advocating for abortion and women’s reproductive rights have used the handmaid apparel symbolically to convey what they believe is today’s oppression by the patriarchy and bureaucracy.

Amherst College in Massachusetts offered a fall 2017 course entitled “Contemporary Debates: Women and Right-Wing Populism,” which included “The Handmaid’s Tale” on its required reading list. The class is offered through the Sexuality, Women’s and Gender Studies Department.

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