Friday, October 4, 2002

Missouri Right to Life opposing increasing state tax on cigarettes

Missouri Right to Life, the state's largest anti-abortion group, will announce today that it opposes Proposition A, the Nov. 5 ballot measure that would quadruple Missouri's cigarette tax to pay for health-care services.State Right to Life president Pam Manning said Thursday that the group believes the proposition fails to include enough legal protections to prevent the money from being used for abortion-related services, including counseling or referrals, and for teen contraceptives."We feel it's a back-door way for the state to subsidize Planned Parenthood," Manning said. Gov. Bob Holden disagrees, as does the measure's chief sponsor, Citizens for a Healthy Missouri."I'm stunned they would come to that conclusion," said Brad Ketcher, a spokesman for the organization, a coalition of urban business groups and the state hospital association. "This proposition is about improving health and health care in the state. It's abortion-neutral."

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