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Joe Ortwerth's
 Jeff City Update
Missouri Family E-News March 9, 2009
 
Senate Committee
Says Yes to Informed Consent Proposal
 
 
Legislation which would dramatically strengthen Missouri's informed consent law on abortion has been endorsed by a committee of the Missouri Senate.  The Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee voted 5-2 to report the measure to the full Senate with its favorable recommendation.  The bill is nearly identical to the proposal adopted by the Missouri House this past week.  The key feature of the bill is a provision assuring that women contemplating abortion have an opportunity to view an ultrasound of their child.  Most women who see an ultrasound choose to give life to their unborn child.  Senators Jack Goodman, Jane Cunningham, Rob Mayer, Kurt Schaefer, and committee chairman Matt Bartle voted for the bill.  Senators Jolie Justus and Jeff Smith voted against the proposal.  Senator Rob Mayer is the sponsor of the bill. Please be praying intently for him.  He will now be leading the effort to win passage in the full Senate of either his own bill or the bill approved by the House.  Please pray that God will grant him exceptional wisdom, principled boldness, and peace amidst the battle.  Senator Mayer is a humble servant of the Lord and the people, and God has clearly chosen him for a time such as this.  
 
How Do I Contact My Legislator?
 
We have been recently asked how Missourians can find contact information for their legislators.  There are separate websites for each chamber of the Missouri Legislature.  For the Senate, go to www.senate.mo.gov. For the House, go to www.house.mo.gov.  On each of these sites you will find directories listing all the legislators.  There you will find the phone numbers, postal addresses, and e-mail addresses of each member.  When you contact your legislator, phone calls and original e-mails are particularly effective.  Form letters are taken less seriously.  Regardless
of the communication methods of the day, nothing still beats an original handwritten letter.  Please don't fail to say that you are praying for the legislator and their family.  Please don't fail to then do just that.
 
We Appreciate Your Partnership With Us
 
The goal of our Jeff City Updates is to provide you valuable information about issues and people in state government from a Christian values perspective.  This information equips you to be an active and engaged Christian citizen in communicating your concerns to your elected representatives.  It also helps you focus your prayers on specific people who need intercession, and specific subjects that call for special measures of God's Grace.
 
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 work to promote Biblical principles and Christian convictions in the hallways of the State Capitol.  Please also remember us in prayer as we seek to share the love and hope of Jesus Christ with legislators, legislative staff, lobbyists, and all those who frequent our State Capitol.   
 
   
 
Pro-Life Ultrasound Bill Advanced
by Missouri House 
Women considering abortions would have the opportunity to view an ultrasound of their child under legislation endorsed by the Missouri House of Representatives.  The ultrasound requirement is part of a comprehensive informed consent bill which also includes major anti-coercion provisions.  The measure received preliminary approval by the Missouri House by a resounding vote of 115-41. 
 
Under the bill, women would be guaranteed the opportunity to view an ultrasound or hear the heartbeat of their child at least 24 hours before the abortion procedure.  They also would be provided with a wide range of information furnished by the state concerning the development of the unborn child, the immediate and long-term risks of the abortion procedure, and services provided by public and private agencies to assist a woman in carrying a child to term, or to place the child for adoption.
 
Representative Bryan Pratt of Blue Springs, the Speaker Pro Tem of the Missouri House, was the chief sponsor of the legislation.  He emphasized a woman's right to know all the facts before making a decision about abortion.  "Women should not be kept in the dark concerning one of the most important decisions they will make in their lives.  By making sure that women are truly informed about the choices before them, this bill will decrease the number of abortions in Missouri.  Many children's lives will be saved. " 
 
The bill would ensure that women have the opportunity to meet with the abortionist at least 24 hours before the procedure.  The women would have the opportunity to discuss the procedure and its ramifications with the abortionist, much as they would with any surgeon before a surgical procedure.   Under present practice, women have little to no contact with the abortionist before the abortion is performed.  
 
All the information to be provided to the woman regarding the nature of abortion and its risks and alternatives will be developed and furnished by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.  This will ensure that women receive objective, accurate information which is so often withheld or concealed by abortion clinics and their employees.  Women will be told the truth that human life begins at conception and shown pictures that illustrate the natural development of the unborn child. 
 
Abortion-minded women would also be informed that is against the law for someone to coerce them into having an abortion, even if it be a boyfriend, husband, parent, friend, or medical care provider.  The bill would make it illegal for a person to engage in any criminal conduct such as assault or stalking for the purpose of pressuring someone into having an abortion.
 
This is the second year in a row the Missouri House has passed a comprehensive informed consent/anti-coercion bill.  Last year the proposal died in the Missouri Senate in the face of a determined filibuster by pro-abortion senators.  It is hoped that this year the Senate will demonstrate more resolve in seeking to pass this life-saving legislation.
 
The Missouri Family Policy Council has played a leading role in the promotion of this pro-life proposal.  Our organization developed in largest part the informed consent provisions of the bill working in consultation with Americans United for Life.  Pro-life and pro-family organizations have been united in making this bill their top priority this session.
 
Considerable thanks for the House victory needs to go not just to Representative Pratt, but to House Speaker Ron Richard and Majority Leader Steve Tilley.  The leadership of the House makes
the decision as to what bills are going to be debated and when.  Their decision to prioritize this legislation and get it passed early in the session is a reflection of their commitment to pro-life objectives.  House leadership had previously won early passage of the resolution condemning the proposed federal "Freedom of Choice Act." 
 
You will find below the tally of how legislators voted on the preliminary vote on the bill.  If your legislator voted yes, please take the time to thank them.  If they voted no, please let them know that you are disappointed and hope they will reassess their position.  In the coming weeks, please focus your prayers on the 34 members of the Missouri Senate.  This issue now lies in their hands.  The people of this state are looking to them for leadership on this critical subject.  The lives of women and children depend on it.
________________________________________
 
Representatives voting for House Commitee Substitute for House Bills 46 & 434:  Representatives AllenAtkins, Aull, Biermann, Bivins, Brandom, Bringer, Brown (Jason), Brown (Dan), Bruns, Burlison, Casey, Cooper, Cox, Cunningham, Davis, Day, Deeken, Denison, Dethrow, Dieckhaus, Diehl, Dixon, Dougherty, Dugger, Emery, Ervin, Faith, Fallert, Fischer, Fisher, Flanigan, Flook, Franz, Funderburk, Gatschenberger, Grill, 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, McNary, Meadows, Meiners, Molendorp, Munzlinger, Nance, Nieves, Nolte, Parkinson, Parson, Pollock, Pratt, Quinn, Richard, Riddle, Rucker, Ruestman, Ruzicka, Salva, 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, Wasson, Wells, Weter, Wilson (Larry), Wilson (Kevin), Witte, Wood, Wright, Yaeger, Yates, Zerr
 
Representatives voting against HCS HB 46 & 434:  Representatives Atkins, Brown (Steve), Burnett, Calloway, Casrter, Chappelle-Nadal, Colona, Corcoran, Curls, Englund, Frame, Holsman, Hoskins (Theodore), Hughes, Jones (Tishaura), Kander, Kelly, Kirkton, Komo, Lampe, LeBlanc, LeVota, Low, McClanahan, McDonald, McNeil, Morris, Nasheed, Norr, Oxford, Pacae, Schupp, Skaggs, Still, Storch, Talboy, Vogt, Walton Gray, Webber, Wildberger, Zimmerman
 
Representatives absent:  Brown (Michael), Dusenberg, El-Amin, McGhee, Roorda, Walsh, Webb