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Joe Ortwerth's

 Jeff City Update

 

Missouri Family E-News

January 5, 2009

Happy New Year from the Missouri Family Policy Council!

 

This is the first edition

of the Missouri Family Policy Council electronic newsletter.  We are happy to provide you with this update on issues and people in state government from a Christian values perspective. 

 

We will be sending this e-newsletter to you on a periodic basis with regular reports on the legislative session in Jefferson City.  We will also be in touch with you at other times to share information on public policy issues of concern to Christian families and citizens in Missouri.

 

We hope you find The Jeff City Update informative and instructive.  Should you have questions or comments, please contact us by e-mail at info@missourifamily.org, by phone at (636) 536-0014, or by mail at the address below.

 

Please be in prayer for our ministry as we seek to promote Biblical principles and Christian convictions in the hallways of our State Capitol.  Please also be praying for our elected leaders as we seek to minister to them in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  

 

Joe Ortwerth

Executive Director

Thank You, Governor Blunt

 

In the series of a few days, Matt Blunt will walk out of the Governor's office for the last time as Missouri's Chief Executive. While Governor Blunt voluntarily limited himself to only one term as Missouri's top elected official, he had a major impact on issues of concern to Christian families and citizens in our state.

 

Governor Blunt was a staunch advocate of the rights of unborn children.  During his Administration, Governor Blunt signed into law very significant pro-life measures that were long-time priorities of the pro-life movement.  He stated, "I believe all human life is precious and should be treated with respect and that is why I have made the promise to defend the sanctity and dignity of life."

 

During his first year in office, Governor Blunt supported and signed legislation that strengthened the laws regulating the operations of abortion clinics and other surgicenters.  The new law clarified that a physician performing abortions must have clinical privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of where he performs abortions.  The bill also made it a crime for someone who is not a parent or guardian to transport a minor across state lines for the purpose of an abortion.  This has been a major problem in Missouri since the state of Illinois does not require parental consent for abortion.

 

During his second year in office, Governor Blunt

enacted with his signature a bill to provide income tax credits to individuals who contribute to pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes.  Taxpayers who donate to centers that provide life-giving support to women with unplanned pregnancies now can receive a 50% state tax credit for their donation. This has been a big boost to agencies that provide help to pregnant women and their unborn and newborn children.

 

In his third year in office, Governor Blunt signed into law a bill that expanded the scope of the state's surgicenter licensing law to include additional abortion clinics.  Additional abortion facilities were required to comply with health and safety regulations that apply to ambulatory surgical centers.  The abortion clinic in Springfield chose to shut down rather than comply with these health and safety requirements. 

 

The same bill also established in statute the Missouri Alternatives to Abortion Services Program.  This initiative provides state funding for services and counseling to pregnant women who carry their child to term or place the child for adoption.  Funding for this program was increased to nearly $2 million by the end of Governor Blunt's term. The legislation also prohibits Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers from offering sex education programs in public schools.   

 

Governor Blunt was also a strong voice on other prominent issues of moral significance.  He spoke out forcefully in defense of traditional marriage, and strongly condemned the abusive behavior of courts in other states mandating homosexual "marriage."

 

While Matt Blunt was a staunch defender of the rights of unborn children, he gravely disappointed pro-life Missourians with his support of Amendment 2.  This constitutional amendment established legal protection for embryonic stem cell research in Missouri, which involves the cloning and destruction of human embryos.  How tragic it is that Missouri, long known as one of the most pro-life states in the nation, is the only state in the country where there is a constitutional right to clone and kill human embryos.  Governor Blunt's support of this amendment was a major setback for the cause of the sanctity of human life.

 

Despite this discouraging fact of life, Governor Blunt still deserves tremendous thanks for his leadership on many pro-life and pro-family subjects.  During his Administration, the pro-life movement accomplished goals it had been working toward for a long time. Governor Blunt 

demonstrated impressive courage and firm conviction in voicing the values of Christian families and citizens in our state. 

In a world where so many politicians exhibit weak backbones, Matt Blunt had the resolve to face down his critics and take principled stands for what he knew to be right.

 

We encourage you to pray for Governor Blunt, First Lady Melanie, and their son William Branch, as they return to private life--that they know the satisfaction of having served the people faithfully and having sought to honor God as Missouri' s First Family.