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Missouri Family E-News February 22, 2010
  
 
Alternatives
to Abortion Program in Limbo
 
Funding for the Missouri Alternatives to Abortion (ATA) Program is in question after action by a Missouri House Appropriations Committee.  The House panel responsible for overseeing the state budget in the area of health, mental health, and social services has recommended the elimination of funding for the program.
 
The committee was responding to direction from House budget officials to cut appropriation levels by 5 percent from the budget for fiscal year 2011 submitted by Governor Jay Nixon.  Yet the committee went much further with the Alternatives to Abortion Program, slashing the entire $2 million allocation.
 
The ATA program contracts with pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes to provide services to women with unplanned pregnancies.  The program provides a wide range of assistance to help pregnant women carry their child to term and to care for the child for up to one year after birth.  The program was initiated under the Blunt administration, and Governor Jay Nixon has maintained funding for it in his budget recommendations. 
 
While Missouri's budget situation is not as disastrous as many other states, it is nonetheless very severe.  Governor Jay Nixon has already withheld $900 million in the current year's budget.  As of the end of January, the state's revenues were 12.5 percent less than the previous year, which was already a bad year.  The budget situation would be even worse were it not for federal "stimulus" money which has been used to supplement the sharp revenue shortfall.
 
The Missouri Family Policy Council has already talked to the leading House budget members, who have assured us that funding for the Alternatives to Abortion Program will be preserved.  But the question is at what level.  There is no reason this program, which has saved the lives of so many preborn children, should experience highly disproportionate cuts compared to other social service programs.
 
We urge you to contact your state representative and let them know of your support for this program.  Encourage them to restore sufficient funding for this program to continue to make a difference.  Tell them that the ATA program should not be required to shoulder an unfair excess share of the state's budget cuts.
 
You can contact your state representative by using the following link.  If you do not know your state representative, you can use the "legislator lookup" feature on the site:
 
You can learn more about the Alternatives to Abortion Program by using this link:
 
 
 
 
New Website Documents Damage from Pornography
 
A new comprehensive website has been launched documenting the damage pornography causes to families and to society.  The "Pornography Harms" website has been created by anti-pornography crusader Patrick Trueman.  He is the former chief of the Child Exploitation and Justice Section of the U.S. Department of Justice.
 
"Since the advent of the internet, pornography has flooded homes, businesses, public libraries, and even schools,"  Trueman says.  "The results have been devastating to the social and family fabric of America."
 
Trueman says the site serves as a one-stop location for "credible, peer-reviewed research" on the negative effects of pornography on individuals, families, and communities.  Trueman says the research shows that pornography is "altering minds, destroying taboos, and reordering society."  He says the fallout from pervasive pornography use is more promiscuity, more divorce, and more sexual trafficking of adults and children.
 
"Pornography is a neglected pandemic and it will remain so until knowledge of its destructive forces is widely understood and disseminated,"  Trueman adds.  "This website is dedicated to this task of education."
 
You can visit the website by clicking this link:
 
 
 
Pro-Life Community Mourns Death of Cindy Province
 
The pro-family community has lost a major leader and respected authority in the passing of Cindy Province.  Cindy died from grave injuries sustained in an auto accident not far from her home in a rural area of southern St. Charles County.
 
Cindy was the co-founder of the Center for Bioethics and Culture in St. Louis.  The Center has become recognized as a credible voice on the contemporary issues in the pro-life movement dealing with human cloning, embryonic research, and other bioethical "advances."
 
Cindy brought not only passion but professional knowledge to her advocacy work.  She was a registered nurse with specialization in neurosurgical critical care.  She held a Master's Degree in Bioethics.  Her good friend Kerry Messer of the Missouri Family Network called her "a no compromise defender of the sanctity of life."  She was also a vocal champion for home educators.
 
Please be praying for her husband, Stan, who serves the St. Louis community as a trauma surgeon.  Please remember in prayer as well her four sons:  Clay, Jimmy, John, and Tom.  Sympathy notes and cards can be sent to this address:
15 Walnut Springs Drive, Defiance, MO  63341 
 
 
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Legislators Renew Push to Approve Pro-life Ultrasound Law
 
Pro-life leaders in the Missouri House and Senate are renewing efforts to pass legislation which would ensure that women considering abortion have an opportunity to see an ultrasound of their child.  Bills have been introduced in both chambers which would strengthen the state's informed consent law.  Women would receive extensive and accurate information about the nature and risks of abortion and alternatives to abortion 24 hours prior to the procedure being performed.
 
The Missouri Legislature adopted a law in 2003 establishing a 24 hour waiting period for abortions.  The concept was for a woman to meet with the abortionist 24 hours before the abortion, receive information for her to review, and then have a full day to reflect on it.  Unfortunately, the legislation was not drafted in a way to accomplish its purpose.  Most women still do not meet the abortionist till they are ushered into the procedure room, and women are still not being given full disclosure about the consequences of abortion to them and their unborn child.
 
The Missouri Family Policy Council originated and developed enhanced 
informed consent legislation during the 2008 legislative session.  That proposal was approved by the Missouri House, but died in the Senate.  Last year, strong informed consent bills were adopted by both the House and Senate, but the issue died in the final days of session when the two chambers could not agree on a final version.
 
The lead sponsor of the Senate proposal again this year is Senator Rob Mayer of Dexter.  The lead sponsor of the House bill is Representative Bryan Pratt of Blue Springs.  The centerpiece of both bills is the ultrasound requirement.  The abortion clinic must provide the woman with the opportunity to view an active ultrasound of the unborn child and hear the heartbeat of the child 24 hours prior to the procedure.  18 states have already adopted ultrasound laws.  Studies show that more than 80 percent of women who view an ultrasound choose to give birth to the child.
 
The proposals would further guarantee that women are informed of the humanity of the unborn child.  They would be shown pictures of the stages of development of the preborn child, and told of the physical characteristics of the child at two-week gestational increments.  The materials given to the women are required to prominently display this statement:  "The life of each human being begins at conception.  Abortion will terminate the life of a separate, unique, living human being."
 
Women would also be advised of the immediate and long-term medical risks of abortion.  Women continue to have severe complications from "safe and legal" abortions, and ambulances pull up at abortion clinics far too often. Just three weeks ago a 37-year old single mother of four died in a New York clinic when the abortionist severed an artery and she bled to death.
 
The abortion clinic would also have to make women aware of the adverse emotional and psychological effects of abortion.  Numerous studies have documented this reality.  One of the most recent ones, printed in the British Journal of Psychiatry, reported that  85 percent of women who had abortions experienced negative mental health issues.  Another study, printed in the journal Traumatology, found that women who had abortions experienced most of the diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder.
 
Information given to the woman would also explain the harm abortion can do to subsequent pregnancies and the ability to carry a subsequent child to term.  Approximately 60 studies have identified a link between abortion and premature births and low birth weight babies.  A recent study in the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology confirms that the elevated incidence of these outcomes for women with one prior abortion is 35%, and for women with more than one abortion 72% or more.
 
The  provisions of the bills also require that women be furnished with information about alternatives to the abortion decision.  They would be given the names, addresses, and phone numbers of pregnancy resource centers, maternity homes, and adoption agencies.  Information would also be supplied on the Missouri Alternatives to Abortion Program, which provides assistance to women who choose to carry their child to term during pregnancy and for up to one year following the birth of the child. 
 
Leadership in both the House and Senate express determination to enact the informed consent bill this year.  Yet opponents will be equally determined, because they know that they will have no success challenging this bill in court if it became law.  It is expected that the House will once again approve the bill on an overwhelming bipartisan basis.  Support for the bill is very strong in the Senate as well, but sponsors will have to overcome a formidable filibuster.
 
Please pray that legislative leaders will do what is necessary to get this bill enacted into law, so that women in Missouri are no longer victimized by the lies of the abortion industry.
Joe's Signature
  
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