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Missouri won’t immediately halt Planned Parenthood funding

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Gov. Jay Nixon says Planned Parenthood can continue receiving funding for women’s health services for a while, despite a Missouri budget provision attempting to stop it.

Nixon said Thursday that his administration will eventually implement a ban on Medicaid funding for organizations that perform abortions. The budget takes effect Friday.

But Nixon says the state must first solicit public comments and then get federal approval to change its women’s health program. He said that could take until 2017 and all providers will continue to be funded until then.

At issue is $10.8 million for women’s health services.

The federal government says states cannot block abortion providers from receiving Medicaid reimbursements for non-abortion services. Missouri’s Republican-led Legislature sought to get around that by replacing federal funding with state tax dollars.