Joe Ortwerth's
 Jeff City Update
Missouri Family E-News February 16, 2009
Beth Moore, Gary Smalley to Speak at Marriage Conference
Popular Bible teacher and author Beth Moore and family relationship expert Gary Smalley will be featured speakers at the upcoming "Focus on Marriage Conference" sponsored by Focus on the Family.  The conference will be simulcast to host churches across the country from 8:30 to 3:30 on Saturday, February 28th.  The theme is "Seeing Your Marriage Through the Eyes of God."  Other speakers include Dr. John Trent and Dr. Del Tackett.  Thirteen Missouri churches are serving as host sites.  They are West Springs Church of Ballwin, First Baptist Church of Branson, Fairview Christian Church of Carthage, First Baptist Church of Fulton, Faith Fellowship of Houston, East Side Baptist Church of Independence, Rehoboth Baptist Church of Kirksville, The Church at Osage Hills of Osage Beach, First Baptist Church of Poplar Bluff, First Baptist Church of Sikeston, Springhill Baptist Church of Springfield, Grace Evangelical Church of St. Joseph, and Cedar Grove Baptist Church of Warsaw.  For more information on the event, go to the Focus on the Family website at www.focusonthefamily.com
and click on the "Focus on Marriage Conference" listing on the bottom right hand corner of the home page. 
How Do I Find My Legislator?

We were recently asked by one of our readers how someone could determine who their state legislators are.  There's a simple and easy way to do that.   Simply go to the website of the Missouri
Senate (www.senate.mo.gov.)  On that page you will find a menu item called "Legislator Lookup".  You enter your nine-digit zip code there, and it will then tell you who your state senator and state representative are.  If you do not know your nine-digit zip code, you can go to the US Postal Service website (www.usps.com/zip4).  Type in your address and it will promptly give you your nine-digit zip code.  Thanks to Diane Burnich of St. Joseph for making this suggestion.

Please Pray for our Ministry
We have been extremely grateful for the wonderful response we have received to our Jeff City Updates. Our goal is to furnish you with important information on issues and people in state government from a Christian values perspective.
During the legislative session, we will send you weekly reports from our State Capitol.  When the Legislature is out of session, we will provide you with periodic updates on issues of concern to Christian families and citizens in Missouri.
We hope you continue to find the Jeff City Update to be informative and instructive.  Should you have any 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. 
Missouri Legislators Condemn FOCA
Missouri legislators have sent a strong message to federal officials that they oppose a radical abortion proposal.  The Missouri House of Representatives
has approved a resolution denouncing the "Freedom of Choice Act " (FOCA), which has been promoted by President Barack Obama and pro-abortion
groups.  FOCA would establish abortion on demand as
a legal
"fundamental right", and would sweep away virtually all state laws regulating the practice of abortion. 
Representative Bob Dixon of Springfield was the sponsor of the resolution, which was adopted by an overwhelming vote of 116-40.  In a strong show of bi-partisan support, 88 Republican state representatives and 28 Democratic representatives voted for the resolution.  40 Democrats voted against the proposal.  Representative Dixon did a superlative job outlining the threat posed by FOCA, and defending the resolution against the misinformation spread by Planned Parenthood and others.
Supporters of the resolution pointed out the numerous state laws that would almost assuredly be struck down if FOCA were enacted as federal law.  Missouri pro-life statutes that would be in almost certain jeopardy include those that require parental consent for a minor's abortion, the 24-hour waiting period before a woman obtains an abortion, health and safety regulations for abortion clinics, conscience protections for doctors and hospitals, and the ban on partial-birth abortions.  Future discussion of abortion legislation by the Missouri General Assembly would also be pre-empted (invalidated) by FOCA.  
The resolution calls on Congress to "summarily reject" FOCA.  It states that the "Freedom of Choice Act will protect and promote the abortion industry, endanger women and their health, promote a political ideology of unregulated abortion-on-demand, and silence the voices of Americans who want to engage in meaningful...debate over the availability, safety, and even desirability of abortion."
Language in FOCA also declares that government cannot "discriminate" against abortion in "the provision of benefits, facilities, services, or information."  This would likely lead to federal and state funding of abortion through the Medicaid program, and the requirement that public hospitals perform abortions. 
Opponents of the resolution argued that no FOCA proposal is currently before Congress and thus the resolution was unnecessary.  Yet FOCA has been regularly introduced over the last several years.  President Obama stated in his recent campaign that winning passage of FOCA would be "the first thing" he would do as President.  There is a strong possibility that such a proposal would pass Congress, with the liberal supermajorities present in both chambers. 
Several legislators argued in committee and on the floor that FOCA is yet another looming federal violation of the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  That amendment declares that "powers not delegated to the United States...are reserved to the states..."  The resolution states that FOCA would "circumvent the state's general legislative authority" and "seek to undermine the right and responsibility of the states...to debate, vote on, and determine abortion policy."
The Americans United for Life (AUL) organization has led efforts to urge state legislatures to adopt anti-FOCA resolutions.  Kerry Messer, President of the Missouri Family Network and Missouri State Director for AUL, coordinated efforts to win passage of the Missouri resolution.  AUL has estimated that more than 550 federal and state laws protecting abortion-minded women and their children would be nullified by FOCA. 
The Missouri Senate has yet to take up a similar anti-FOCA resolution sponsored by Senator Matt Bartle.  22 of the 34 senators have co-sponsored the resolution.
HCS HRs 294 &212
State Representatives voting for: Allen, Aull, Biermann, Brandom, Bringer, Brown (Jason), Brown (Dan), Bruns, Burlison, Casey, Cooper, Cox, Cunningham, Davis, Day, Deeken, Denison, Dethrow, Dieckhaus, Diehl, Dixon, Dougherty, Dugger, Dusenberg, Emery, Ervin, Faith, Fallert, Fischer, Fisher, Flanigan, Flook, Franz, Funderburk, Gatschenberger, Grisamore, Guernsey, Guest, Harris, Hobbs, Hodges, Hoskins (Denny), Hummel, Icet, Jones (Tim), Jones (Kenny), Keeney, Kingery, Koenig, Kratky, Kraus, Kuessner, Lair, Largent, Leara, Liese, Lipke, Loehner, McClanahan, McGhee, McNary, Meadows, Meiners, Molendorp, Munzlinger, Nance, Nieves, Nolte, Parkinson, Parson, Pollock, Pratt, Quinn, Richard, Riddle, Rucker, Ruestman, Ruzicka, Sander, Sater, Scavuzzo, Schaaf, Schad, Scharnhorst, Schieffer, Schlottach, Schoeller, Schoemehl, Self, Shively, Silvey, Smith (Joe), Smith (Jason), Spreng, Stevenson, Stream, Sutherland, Swinger, Thomson, Tilley, Todd, Tracy, Viebrock, Wallace, Walsh, Wasson, Wells, Weter, Wilson (Larry), Wilson (Kevin), Witte, Wood, Wright, Yaeger, Yates, Zerr 
State Representatives voting against:  Atkins, Brown (Michael), Brown (Steve), Burnett, Calloway, Carter, Chappelle-Nadal, Corcoran, Curls, El-Amin, Frame, Holsman, Hoskins (Theodore), Hughes, Jones (Tishaura), Kander, Kelly, Kirkton, Komo, Lampe, LeBlanc, LeVota, Low, McDonald, McNeil, Morris, Nasheed, Norr, Oxford, Pace, Schupp, Skaggs, Still, Storch, Talboy, Vogt, Walton Gray, Webb, Webber, Zimmerman
State Representatives voting present:  Englund, Grill
State Representatives absent:  Bivins, Colona, Roorda, Salva, Wildberger