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Missouri Family E-News April 5, 2010
U.S. Senate Votes for Abortion Drug, Against Marriage
The United States Senate has rejected an amendment that would have prohibited the use of federal health care funds for RU-486 and other abortifacient drugs.  The amendment was offered by Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma during the reconciliation process on the recently passed pro-abortion federal health care bill.
Coburn's amendment would have restricted coverage under health care programs administered by the federal government or by any of the health insurance exchanges created under the federal "health care reform" bill.  Coburn's language would have banned coverage of drugs "prescribed with the intent of inducing abortions" other than to save the life of the mother.  It also would have prohibited coverage of drugs to treat erectile dysfunction for individuals convicted of child molestation, rape, or other forms of sexual assault.
Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill voted to table (kill) Coburn's amendment.  Senator Kit Bond voted to continue discussion of Coburn's proposal.  McCaskill had previously voted to support the abortion funding provisions in the overall health care measure, while Bond had taken a position against the health care abortion mandate.
During further discussion the Senate voted in support of recent actions by the District of Columbia to legalize same-sex "marriage" in that jurisdiction.  The Senate rejected an amendment offered by Senator Bennett of Utah that would have suspended the issuance of same-sex "marriage" licenses in the District of Columbia until the people of the District have the opportunity to vote on this issue in a referendum.
Senator McCaskill voted to table, and thus kill the amendment.  Senator Bond did not vote.
Missouri House Gives Final OK to Pro-Life Ultrasound Bill
The Missouri House of Representatives has given final approval to legislation which would ensure that women considering abortion receive full disclosure about the procedure and its risks.  The House voted 113-37 to adopt the proposal, which was handled by Representative Bryan Pratt of Blue Springs.
The bill would strengthen Missouri's current informed consent law on abortion, which has proven to be ineffective.  While Missouri's present law currently establishes a 24-hour waiting period before a woman secures an abortion, it does not provide that a woman receive accurate information about the nature of the abortion procedure, and the immediate and long-term dangers of the procedure to her physical and mental health.
A major feature of the bill is the requirement that women considering abortion be afforded the opportunity to see an ultrasound of her child and to hear the heartbeat of her child if it is audible.  Eighteen states have already adopted similar laws, which have provided women with the clear picture that her unborn child is not "a clump of cells" or "fetal tissue" but an active, moving living human being.
The legislation would also ensure that women are given comprehensive information about alternatives to abortion, including the contact information for agencies that will assist them in carrying their child to term.  They would also be told about the state's Alternatives to Abortion Program, which provides a range of support services to pregnant women up to one year after the birth of the child.
Funding for that program had been eliminated by a House appropriations committee because of the state's budget crisis, but was restored by the full Budget Committee and approved by the full House.  The Missouri Senate has now taken up the budget for formal consideration, and it is expected that funding for the program will be maintained.
The Senate version of the ultrasound/informed consent bill sponsored by Senator Rob Mayer of Dexter has received initial debate by the full Senate.  It is expected to be taken up for further debate in the next few weeks.
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Missouri House Committee Approves Homosexual Rights Bill
A Missouri House committee has approved legislation which would grant special rights to homosexuals in employment situations.  The bill adds the term "sexual orientation" and the concept of "gender identity" to the state's employment discrimination laws.  Should the bill pass, businesses and organizations would have the choice of hiring avowed homosexuals or facing likely lawsuits charging unlawful discriminatory practice.
The legislation, House Bill 1850, was endorsed by the House Urban Issues Committee on a vote of 5-4.  The bill is sponsored by Representative Stephen Webber of Columbia, and is co-sponsored by 52 of the 74 Democratic members of the Missouri House of Representatives.
Under current law, it is an unlawful employment practice for an employer to "fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual...because of such individual's race, color, religion, national origin, sex, ancestry, age, or disability."  These conditions are usually described as immutable characteristics, with the exception of religious belief, which is a constitutionally protected form of expression.  Webber's bill would add the term "sexual orientation" to this list.  The result would be that for the first time individuals would have anti-discrimination protection based on their conduct, in this case their sexual conduct.
The term "sexual orientation" is defined in the bill as "male or female heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality by inclination, practice, identity, or expression, or having a self image or identity not traditionally associated with one's gender."  The adoption of this definition by the Legislature would accomplish two goals of the gay rights movement in Missouri:  1) Ratification in the law of the false theory that homosexuality in an inbred inclination, and yet another immutable characteristic, and 2) Acknowledgement in the law that a person's gender is whatever a person asserts it to be.
Webber's bill has been pushed hard by PROMO, the homosexual rights organization in Missouri.  Similar laws have been adopted in 20 other states.  President Obama has also been pushing Congress to adopt a similar federal law known as ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
The legislation would also make it illegal to refuse to rent or sell property to a person or persons because of their "sexual orientation."  It would also require that no individual can be denied "full and equal use" of any place of public accommodation in the state based on their "sexual orientation" or "gender identity", which would include public restrooms.
Supporters of the legislation claim that the new "sexual orientation" provisions would not apply to religious institutions.  Current law excludes "corporations and associations owned and operated by religious or sectarian groups" from the law's provisions.  Yet nowhere in the law is the phrase "religious or sectarian group" defined.  Many Christian ministries and businesses are not owned and operated by a "religious or sectarian group."  Christian educational institutions may or may not meet the definition prescribed in the law.
The Missouri Human Rights Commission is responsible for enforcing the state's anti-discrimination laws.  If the bill passed, its duties would include "to seek to eliminate and prevent discrimination because of...sexual orientation."   The Commission also would have the power "to issue publications and and the results of studies and research which will tend to promote goodwill" to individuals of all "sexual orientations."  It can be expected that the Commission would be pressured to use bogus studies to promote the virtues of the homosexual lifestyle in the employment community and the state's public school system.  Christians are already the victims of pro-homosexual "diversity training" in many employment settings.
The House Urban Issues Committee, which approved the homosexual rights measure, is constituted in an unusual manner.  It is chaired by a Democrat, Representative Ted Hoskins, despite the fact that the Missouri House is under the control of the Republicans.  It is composed of an equal number of Democrats and Republicans, despite the fact that the House has a majority of Republicans.  In addition to Hoskins, Representatives Michael Brown, Leonard Hughes, Kate Meiners, and Hope Whitehead voted for the bill.  Representatives Jason Brown, Jeff Grisamore, Andrew Koenig, and Mike Leara voted against the bill.  Representative Tim Flook was not present for the vote. 
A Missouri Senate committee has heard a similar bill in that chamber, sponsored by Senator Jolie Justus.  The Progress and Development Committee has taken no action on that measure.
We urge you to contact your state representative and urge them to oppose House Bill 1850.  Homosexuals should not receive preferential treatment in Missouri employment law based on their sexual preference or conduct.  Nor should public accommodations be open to all individuals based on their self-professed "gender identity."
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 Missouri House website.
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