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Missouri Family E-News January 4, 2010
 
AMA Losing Members Over Pro-Abortion Stance
 
A leading Christian physician has announced his resignation from the American Medical Association (AMA) because of the organization's support of abortion coverage in federal health care legislation.
 
Dr. David Stevens, the chief executive officer of the national Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA), says he can no longer in good conscience remain a member of the AMA.  He is challenging other Christian physicians to also evaluate their affiliation with the organization. 
 
"I can no longer associate with an organization that is unscientific, unprofessional, and controlled by special interests," Stevens said in a letter to the organization's leadership.  "I no longer see any hope of changing your radical positions by working from the inside."
 
Dr. Stevens is most displeased with recent actions of the AMA on the issue of the conscience rights of physicians.  Stevens charges that the AMA has lobbied for the repeal of regulations implemented by President George W. Bush which assured that medical personnel would not be required to perform acts which violate their "personally held moral principles."
 
The Tennessee physician is also disturbed by actions of the AMA during the current debate over federal health care legislation in Congress.  He says that the AMA's leadership has "traded away the future welfare of patients for physicians' personal gain."  He says such actions are "a violation of our physician-patient covenant and sells out our professional heritage."
 
Stevens claims that membership in the AMA has dropped from three of every four practicing physicians in the 1960's to one in every five today.   He cites the AMA's support of same-sex marriage, human cloning, and "medical" use of marijuana as other issues in which the organization is out of step with its members.
 
The Christian Medical and Dental Association which Stevens heads includes 17,000 American doctors and dentists. The mission of the CMDA is to motivate, educate, and equip physicians and dentists to glorify God in their medical practice.  The group works to advance Biblical principles in bioethics and health to the church and to society.
 
Prior to his service as CEO of the Christian Medical and Dental Association, Dr. Stevens served as the medical director for Samaritan's Purse.  To learn more about the CMDA, you can visit this website:
  
 
 
 
Good News:  More Abortion Clinics Closing 
 
More than two-thirds of the nation's abortion clinics have closed over the last two decades, according to a report issued by the pro-life organization Operation Rescue.  The report states that there were 2,200 abortion clinics across the country in 1991, but that today only 713 clinics in operation.
 
"The pro-life movement has made significant strides exposing and closing abortion clinics and shifting public opinion toward the pro-life position," says Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.  Newman claims the greater access there is to an abortion clinic in a state, the higher is the abortion rate.
 
Operation Rescue released the report in conjunction with their "Project Daniel 5:25" project.  They point to the story in that verse, in which Daniel was able to read the handwriting on the wall and prophesy the fall of a wicked kingdom.  Operation Rescue believes that the handwriting is on the wall for the abortion industry, with public sentiment increasingly moving to the pro-life point of view.
 
The report details all the current abortion facilities in the nation, ranging from 114 in the state of California to 1 in the states of Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.  Missouri has three:  the two clinics operated by Planned Parenthood in St. Louis and Columbia, and a clinic operated by Alan Palmer in north St. Louis County.  A fourth clinic in Springfield, Missouri closed down in 2005 after the Missouri General Assembly passed legislation tightening medical standards for abortion clinics.
 
While the number of abortion clinics has declined dramatically, the number of abortions has not fallen to the same degree.  That's because Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers are consolidating their operations, doing business from larger facilities from which their "services" are being marketed to broader geographic areas.
 
Nonetheless, the trends over the last two decades show a significant drop in the abortion rate.  Operation Rescue reports that there were 25 abortions performed nationwide per 1000 women aged 15-44 in 1980, and that ratio has dropped to 15 per 1000 as of 2005.  The rate in Missouri in 2005 was 7 per 1000, ranking our state 41st among the 50 states, which is very encouraging. 
 
Please continue to pray that the doors of more and more clinics close in 2010, and that the doors of more and more Christian pregnancy resource centers open this year as well.   
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Abortion Issue is Center Stage in Federal Health Care Showdown
 
While we have entered a New Year that looks very different on the calendar, the running political debate looks very much the same.  Will Congress pass some version of President Obama's "health care reform" agenda, and if so, what will it look like?  
 
Curiously, the issue of abortion has become the last remaining obstacle to the passage of President Obama's federal health insurance bill.  With the passage by the U.S. Senate of Majority Leader Harry Reid's health care proposal on Christmas Eve, legislative leaders must now work to resolve differences between the  monstrous bills passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate.
 
All that will be hammered out in a conference committee between key leaders in both legislative chambers.  It appears that House leaders have agreed to concede the defeat of the so-called "public option," the government-managed health care plan included in the House bill but eliminated by the Senate.  That leaves one thorny lingering issue--how abortion coverage will be treated in the federal government's regulation of private insurance health plans.
 
Contrary to the claims of Senator Reid and the White House, the bill approved by the Senate still includes federal support of abortion.  The legislation still permits federal subsidies and tax credits to help underwrite health insurance plans with abortion coverage.  The legislation still requires that health insurers who offer abortion coverage must collect an abortion premium from every enrollee regardless of their sex, age, or family status.
 
The "pro-life language" agreed to by Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska proved to be worthless.  The language allows states to prohibit abortion coverage in private health insurance plans offered in their state.  However, that would require passage of a law by the Missouri Legislature.  This would be very difficult, with the need to overcome a certain filibuster in the Missouri Senate, and the prospect of a veto by Governor Jay Nixon.  Even if Missouri passed such a law, Missouri taxpayers would still be subsidizing abortions in other states with the tax dollars they send to Washington, D.C.
 
Pro-life physician and U.S. Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma had this to say about the "Nelson Compromise":  "This agreement, which was allegedly reached after weeks of gut-wrenching negotiations, is an elaborate charade...It is an historic and radical shift that will require taxpayers to pay for abortion.  The American people ...will hold accountable anyone who defends sacrificing the unborn on the altar of political expediency."
 
The pivotal question now is whether the House of Representatives will vote down a final bill out of the conference committee which fails to include the Stupak Amendment.  That amendment, offered by Congressman Bart Stupak of Michigan and approved by the House, prohibited any taxpayer subsidy or support of abortion coverage.  The Stupak Amendment specified that if abortion coverage was going to be included in any health
care plan, it had to be purchased with a separate rider which covered the entire cost of the procedure.
 
There are yet other issues of continuing concern to the pro-life community in any final resolution of a health care bill.  The Senate bill bans discrimination by any health plan against health care providers because they refuse to provide, pay for, or refer for abortions.  But the language does not prohibit a government entity from doing so.  There continue to be provisions in both the House and Senate bills which suggest the rationing of care to those who are in advanced years and in medically fragile condition.
 
The essential political question is whether the 64 Democrats who voted for the Stupak Amendment in the House will withstand pressure from the White House and their party leaders and demand inclusion of the Stupak language in the final bill.  One of those 64 Democrats who voted for Stupak was Congressman Ike Skelton of Missouri. 
 
Regardless of where you live in Missouri, we encourage you to contact Congressman Skelton.  Tell him that Missouri citizens do not want their tax dollars paying for the killing of unborn children. Congressman Skelton's website is set up such that you cannot contact him by e-mail unless you live in his district.  Yet you can deliver your message by contacting one of his federal or local offices at the following numbers:
 
Washington, D.C. - (202) 225-2876
Blue Springs - (816) 228-4242
Jefferson City - (573) 635-3499
Lebanon - (417) 532-7964
Sedalia - (660) 826-2675
 
We also urge you to contact your own Congressman or Congresswoman.  You can do so by e-mail by visiting this web address:
 
As we have stated before, a small percentage of abortions are currently paid for through health insurance.  If abortions are routinely covered and paid for through health insurance plans, it will only increase the availability and frequency of abortions.  If the government is financing or subsidizing the provision of abortions, it will institutionalize this evil practice as another government entitlement that every American gets to pay for.  This is a moral calamity for our nation that must be averted.  Please pray for our elected officials that they will not force American taxpayers to be unwilling contributors to the slaughter of the innocent.
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