- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 29, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The Mississippi House is advancing a bill to block the state Medicaid program from spending money with any group affiliated with any abortion provider.

The proposal originally was aimed at Planned Parenthood, but it appears to mirror a state law that already prohibits public funding of most abortions.

SB 2238 (https://bit.ly/1o4A5XO ) passed the House 77-37 on Tuesday and returns to the Senate.

Mississippi Medicaid has spent a little over $500 over the past three years with Planned Parenthood for services such as cancer screenings. The organization’s only Mississippi clinic, in Hattiesburg, does not provide abortion. However, legislative arguments have centered on that procedure.

Those seeking to block the money say doing so would protect babies. Opponents say legislators are telling people what to do in their private lives.

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