Joe Ortwerth's
 Jeff City Update
Missouri Family E-News March 2, 2009
Senate Committee
Gives Thumbs Down to FOCA 
A Missouri Senate committee has endorsed
a resolution expressing opposition to the proposed "Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA)."  This radical federal proposal would make abortion on demand a "fundamental right" and would invalidate nearly all state laws protecting women and children.  The Senate resolution was sponsored by Senator Matt Bartle of Lee's Summit.  The Senate Rules Committee approved the resolution by a vote of 4-1. Senators Gary Nodler, Norma Champion, Charlie Shields, and Committee chairman Kevin Engler voted for the resolution.  Senator Joan Bray voted against it.  Senator Tim Green voted present.  The measure will now go to the full Senate for its consideration.  The Missouri House has already adopted a resolution this session denouncing the FOCA proposal.  FOCA would, for all intents and purposes, prohibit states from even discussing the subject of abortion.  While proponents of abortion like to say their goal is to make abortion safe, legal, and rare, FOCA would actually make abortion unsafe, unregulated, and even more barbaric.  It would even result in the striking down of laws banning partial birth abortion. 
The number of abortions would increase considerably if FOCA were passed, as state laws requiring parental consent and informed consent would be nullified.
Future Missouri Leaders Meet In Jeff City
Eighty-five students from across Missouri are gathering in Jefferson City this week for the annual TeenPact Christian youth leadership program.  The slogan of TeenPact is "Turning Students into Statesmen."  TeenPact is enjoying its seventh year in the State Capitol training young people in principles of Christian citizenship, leadership, and spiritual growth.  Participants in the program get to go behind the scenes to see how state government operates.  They hear from elected officials, lobbyists, capitol staff, and Christian activists.  They learn the legislative process and how to research issues.  They pray for our leaders while standing in the halls of the Capitol Building.  The four-day class is for students aged 13-18.  For more information about TeenPact, visit their website at www.teenpact.com, or call State Director Laurel Morton at (816) 525-5003.  Please pray for these students as they seek the Lord's direction as to how to put their faith into action for a lifetime.
Code Blue Rally This Weekend
The American Family Association is bringing a Biblical Worldview Conference to Missouri this weekend.  Tabbed as the "Code Blue Rally, " the conference is an appeal to Christians to recognize the dire state of our nation's moral condition.  Speakers at the conference will be Dr. Ron Carlson, the founder of Christian Ministries International, and Brannon Howse, the President of the American Family Policy Institute.  The goals of the Code Blue Rally are to 1) Teach Christians to contend for the faith; 2) Teach Christians to think like Biblically-minded believers; 3) Teach Christians to evangelize like Jesus did; 4) Challenge Christians to make sure they are true converts.  The conference will be held Saturday evening, March 7th, at the Drury Lodge in Cape Girardeau, and on Sunday evening, March 8th at First Baptist Church of Ferguson in the St. Louis area. The program each evening will begin at 5:30 and end at 9:00 P.M.  For more information, log on to the website at www.codebluerally.com


Bill Proposed to Protect Conscience Rights of Pharmacy Owners
State legislators are debating a proposal to protect the conscience rights of the owners of Missouri pharmacies.  The bill would ensure that pharmacies are not required to provide abortifacient drugs or "emergency contraception" against the moral objections of the owners of those pharmacies. 
The issue of conscience protection for pharmaceutical businesses came to a head in recent years due to the high-handed actions of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.  The Governor had implemented an administrative rule in 2005 that ordered all pharmacies to dispense any FDA-approved contraceptive.  It furthermore mandated that pharmacies stock any contraceptives requested by any customer. 
Blagojevich's order was designed to force pharmacies to stock and sell Plan B, more commonly referred to as the "morning-after pill." Plan B has been marketed as "emergency contraception" for women who are sexually active but are not on a regular regimen of "birth control" pills.
However, Plan B not only works to delay or inhibit ovulation, but it breaks down the endometrial lining of the uterus, inhibiting implantation of a fertilized egg.  The drug is intended to create a hostile environment for a newly conceived human life, and destroy the fertilized egg as gestation and nidation begins.  The fact is that Plan B has both contraceptive and abortifacient qualities.  A serious side effect of Plan B is the increased risk of ectopic pregnancy.
The Missouri pharmacy protection legislaton, House Bill 226, has been introduced by Representative Ed Emery of Lamar.  The bill would also ensure that pharmacies are not compelled to stock or sell RU486 or similar drugs.  RU486 has been marketed as a non-surgical, "do-it-yourself" abortion method.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved dispensing of the drug in 2000.  It is unconscionable that the FDA would approve a lethal drug whose sole purpose is to kill unborn children.   It demonstrates that the agency has long since abandoned its mission of protecting the public health, and is instead captive to pharmaceutical manufacturers and the abortion industry.
The RU486 process involves two drugs at work.  The fist one, mifepristone, blocks the action of progesterone, the natural hormone that sustains the nutrient lining of the uterus.  The developing baby starves as the uterine lining disintegrates.  The second drug, misoprostol, causes cramping and contractions, and works to expel the dead baby from the mothers' womb.
Most women abort during a waiting period at an abortion clinic, but many expel the unborn child at home or at work as late as 5 days later.  The woman has to return to the abortion clinic a third time to ensure that no remnants of the unborn child are remaining in the uterus.  At least 13 women have died as a result of using RU486.  The FDA was forced to revise the warning on the label which now states that "serious and sometimes fatal infections and bleeding" can occur.
No government should be dictating to a small business owner what items they are going to buy and sell in their business.  Pharmacy owners should be able to decide what drugs are of therapeutic benefit to their customers.  They should not be forced, in police-state fashion, to sell drugs that have no therapeutic benefit, and in fact, are designed to destroy human life.
The legislation offered by Representative Emery would protect pharmacy owners from lawsuits for refusing to dispense abortifacient drugs.  It also would prohibit the state from taking disciplinary actions against the license of any pharmacy for failing to dispense or refer for abortion-inducing drugs or contraception.
The bill would negate legislation being pushed by Planned Parenthood called by its promoters "The Prevention First Act."  It would require pharmacists to  provide any and all FDA-approved drugs or "emergency contraception", or refer customers to a place where they can obtain them. 
Please pray that our legislators will give favorable consideration to this bill so that conscientious pharmacy owners will be able to continue to help, and not harm the people they are licensed to serve.