Joe Ortwerth's
 Jeff City Update
Missouri Family E-News May 4, 2009
Lieutenant Governor to Headline National Day of Prayer Event
Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder will be the featured speaker at the statewide National Day of Prayer event in Jefferson City.  This year's event will be held at noon this Thursday, May 7th, in the Rotunda of the State Capitol Building.  Tom Otley, State Coordinator for the National Day of Prayer, will read a proclamation from Governor Jay Nixon declaring May 7th a Day of Prayer in Missouri.  Area pastors, including local pastor Doug Crader of Jefferson City Christian Center, will lead the prayer time.  Numerous other events will be held throughout the state at county courthouses, city halls, and in local churches.  This is the 58th annual observance of a day dedicated to prayer for our nation.  The theme of this year's observance is "Prayer...America's Hope."  The theme is taken from the Scripture in Psalm 33:22:  "May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you."  For information about local prayer events in your community, you can go to the National Day of Prayer web site at this link: www.ndptf.org  
Missouri House Steers Stimulus Funds to PRC's
The Missouri House has voted to allocate money from federal "stimulus" funds to support pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes.  The House voted to dedicate at much as $2 million in funds from the so-called American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support programs offered by pro-life agencies assisting women with unplanned pregnancies.  The funds would be released through the Community Development Block Grant program and the Emergency Shelter program.  The Senate must now concur in the House's action for the funds to be appropriated.  These funds are in addition to nearly $2 million previously allocated in the regular budget for alternatives to abortion services.  Sam Lee of Campaign Life Missouri and Kerry Messer, lobbyist for the Missouri Alliance for Life, persuaded House budget leaders of the merits of the idea.  Messer had
this to say about the House action: "Maternity homes and pregnancy resource centers are essential to helping pregnant women in need.  During these tough economic times, the Missouri House has proven their commitment to funding life-affirming organizations helping these women."

Protections Approved for Pharmacy Owners

The Missouri House has adopted legislation which would protect the conscience rights of pharmacy owners.  Under the proposal, no pharmacy would be required to distribute abortifacient drugs, such as RU-486 or Plan B, the so-called morning-after pill.  The bill stipulates that no lawsuit can be filed against a pharmacy for refusing to stock or provide such drugs, or for making customer referrals for such drugs. The legislation was adopted as an amendment to a Senate professional licensing bill.  The Senate must now accept the amendment.  Representative Ed Emery of Lamar was the sponsor of the amendment, which was approved overwhelmingly by the House by a vote of 115-43.
Be A Voice for Righteousness
The purpose of the Jeff City Update 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 God's manifold grace and mercy. 
We hope you 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 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.
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Pro-Life Ultrasound Bill Faces Logjam in Senate
Legislation that would require that women seeking abortions have an opportunity to see an ultrasound of their child is bogged down in the Missouri Senate with just two weeks left in the session.  The comprehensive pro-life measure, which would strengthen the state's informed consent law and make coerced abortions a crime, has been stalled by a filibuster waged by pro-abortion senators.
Two companion bills containing similar provisions are in position for final passage with just days left in this year's regular session.  Senate Bill 264, sponsored by Senator Rob Mayer of Dexter, is on the senate informal calendar.  The House version of the bill, House Committee Substitute for House Bills 46 and 434, has been reported out of a Senate committee, and is on the House Bills for Third Reading calendar.  Representative Bryan Pratt of Blue Springs is the chief sponsor of the House bill.
In addition to the ultrasound provision, both bills would require that women considering abortion receive information on the development of the unborn child, the immediate and long-term medical and psychological risks of the abortion procedure, and support options for women choosing childbirth or adoption.  The bills also mandate that women seeking late-term abortions be told about the pain the unborn child would experience.
The only way either bill will win passage in the Senate is if senators resolve to shut down the filibuster.  This requires a motion known as "the previous question," which closes down debate and brings a bill to final vote.  The previous question motion is rarely used, is a departure from the traditions of the Senate, and is considered a last resort. 
Unlike last session, support for breaking the pro-abortion filibuster is much stronger.  But it will only happen if the Senate leadership makes a decision to prioritize the ultrasound bill in the last days of the session and schedule it for debate.  At the present time, Senate leadership is reluctant to do so.
Filibusters and threats of filibusters have tied up the Missouri Senate for much of the session.  In recent years, the Senate has become a graveyard for legislation, and all the moreso this year.  A University of Missouri political science professor has correctly observed that the Missouri Legislature is sliding into dysfunctionality because of the persistent use of the filibuster by individual senators. 
For many years, Missouri was in the vanguard of states initiating and adopting major pro-life legislation.  That is no longer the case.  In fact, Missouri has fallen well back into the middle of the pack.  Fifteen states have pro-life ultrasound laws on the books.  Twenty-three states have enacted informed consent laws, most with provisions stronger than those in Missouri.  Five states have laws dealing with fetal pain.  Because of Missouri's weak laws on informed consent, women walking into abortion clinics in our state continue to be denied the truth about the nature of the procedure and the damage it causes to them and their unborn child.
Pro-abortion forces led by Planned Parenthood are vigorously fighting the passage of the ultrasound bill because they know it will remove the mask of deception and the cloak of conspiracy that surrounds the abortion procedure.  Pro-abortion lobbyists know that they will have no success striking down the ultrasound bill in court, because informed consent laws have been repeatedly upheld all across the country. 
The ultrasound bill was approved in the House with the support of 70% of the members.  Should it reach a vote in the Senate, it would likely receive the vote of nearly 80% of the members of that chamber.  Yet a handful of senators working in collusion with the abortion industry are blocking the pro-life convictions of the Missouri Legislature and the pro-family sentiments of the people of Missouri.
Please be praying this week for every member of the Missouri Senate.  Please be praying in particular for Senator Rob Mayer, who is at the forefront of efforts to break the senate filibuster.  Please be praying that senators will do what is right and just in the eyes of God, and be unconcerned about the traditions and customs of men.
We strongly urge you to contact your state senator by phone or e-mail this week.  Urge them to "move the previous question" and pass the pro-life ultrasound bill.  Contact information for your senator can be found at this link:  www.senate.mo.gov  
Please also contact the office of Senate Majority Leader Kevin Engler, who decides what bills will be debated and when.  Senator Engler is pro-life and needs to be encouraged to take action on this life-saving measure THIS YEAR.  Senator Engler's office number is (573) 751-3455.  His e-mail address is kevin.engler@senate.mo.gov
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