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Missouri Family E-News May 18, 2010
Leading Pro-Life Group Balks at Kagan Nomination
One of the nation's leading pro-life organizations is voicing strong opposition to President Obama's nomination of Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court. The President selected Kagan to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. Americans United for Life says that Kagan, who currently serves as U.S. Solicitor General, is a "radical abortion rights activist." The group is urging the U.S. Senate to refuse to confirm Kagan for the High Court. "President Obama has chosen another activist who seeks to reshape the traditional understanding of the Constitution to suit her personal views," says Charmaine Yoest, President of AUL. "Kagan has been open in her admiration of activist judges who rewrite the law to suit themselves and has advocated that judges 'advance' social policy rather than faithfully applying the law." Yoest states that AUL's research reveals that Kagan is "an ardent abortion supporter." She says that Kagan has been a donor to the National Partnership for Women and Families, which has close ties to the National Abortion Rights Action League and Emily's List, a pro-abortion political action committee. Kagan has publicly and repeatedly criticized the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Rust v. Sullivan, Yoest adds. In that decision, the High Court upheld regulations that prohibited the use of tax dollars for programs that promote or counsel for abortion. Kagan has also written articles dismissing the harmful effects of abortion on women's physical, emotional, and psychological health. "Americans do not need a radical abortion-rights activist taking a fill-in-the-blank approach to the U.S. Constitution," Yoest concludes. You can read more about AUL's analysis of Kagan's record by visiting their website .
Federal Court Upholds "So Help Me God" in Presidential Oath
A federal appeals court has struck down a lawsuit challenging references to God in the inauguration ceremonies for President of the United States. Atheist Michael Newdow had filed the suit, claiming that the phrase "so help me God" in the Presidential oath of office amounted to an unconstitutional establishment of religion. Newdow had also argued that invocations and benedictions offered at the presidential swearing-in ceremony were a violation of the First Amendment. The District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the previous dismissal of Newdow's claims, saying that it was too late to act on the recent Presidential inauguration and thus there was no longer a live controversy. A federal district court had previously rejected the case just prior to the inauguration, ruling that Newdow did not have standing to bring the lawsuit. Appeals Court Judge Janice Rogers Brown stated that it is up to the President-elect to decide what to include in an inaugural ceremony, and to impair his prerogative to make religious references would abrogate his First Amendment rights. "If it were otherwise, George Washington could not have begun the tradition by appending 'so help me God' to his own oath; Lincoln could not have offered a war-weary nation 'malice toward none' and 'charity for all with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right;' and Kennedy could not have told us 'that here on earth God's work must be our own,' " Brown wrote. The appeals court also refused to grant an injunction blocking future Presidents from incorporating prayer and religious elements in future inaugural ceremonies.



Missouri Legislature Sends Major Pro-Life Bill to Governor Nixon

The Missouri Legislature has enacted comprehensive pro-life legislation which ensures that women receive full disclosure about the nature, risks, and consequences of abortion. The legislation dramatically strengthens the state's informed consent law on abortion, and declares in unmistakable terms the state of Missouri's preference for childbirth over abortion. Senate Bill 793, sponsored by Senator Rob Mayer of Dexter, was given final approval by the Missouri House on the last day of the legislative session by a vote of 114-39. Representative Bryan Pratt of Blue Springs was the handler of the bill in the Missouri House. The legislation is now in the hands of Governor Jay Nixon, who must decide whether to sign the bill, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature.
Should the bill be enacted into law, women considering abortion in Missouri will be told the truth about the procedure for the first time since the Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion 37 years ago. The new statute will make it much less likely that women will be deceived, victimized, and exploited by the abortion industry. The bill establishes a number of requirements that must be fulfilled by an abortion clinic 24 hours before a woman can obtain an abortion. Under the new statute, for the first time, the information will have to be provided in person. The legislation requires that women be shown pictures of the development of the unborn child at various gestational stages. It requires that women be told that "the life of each human being begins at conception" and that abortion "will terminate the life of a separate, unique living human being."

Most significantly, women must be afforded the opportunity to see an ultrasound of their unborn child, and hear the heartbeat of the child if it is audible. The clinic may provide the ultrasound themselves, but must also provide the woman with a list of other facilities where they may obtain the ultrasound, which would include pregnancy resource centers. Missouri would become the 19th state with a law mandating that women be afforded the opportunity to see an ultrasound of their preborn child.

The bill calls for women to be specifically informed of the immediate and long-term medical risks of abortion, including "the harm to subsequent pregnancies and the ability to carry a subsequent child to term, and the possible adverse psychological effects associated with an abortion." They must be told that the father of the child is legally and financially responsible for the child, even if the father has offered to pay for the abortion. Women must also be advised of public and private agencies able to assist a woman in carrying her child to term, and be furnished a list of those agencies including crisis pregnancy centers, pregnancy resource centers, and adoption agencies. The abortion clinic must also let the woman know about the Missouri Alternatives to Abortion Program, which provides services to eligible women and their children for up to a year following the birth of the child. Lastly, in the case of abortions to be performed in advanced stages of pregnancy, women must be informed that the unborn child may experience pain by 22 weeks of gestational age, and that anesthesia is often given to unborn children who undergo prenatal surgery at that stage or to babies born prematurely who require surgery. The woman must be told that if she chooses to proceed with a late-term abortion, that she has the choice to have an anesthetic or analgesic administered to alleviate pain to the unborn child.

Should the bill become law, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services will be charged with the task of developing the written materials to be given to abortion-minded women containing all the information required by the bill. This is where efforts to undermine the purposes of the legislation may occur. Yet the statutory language is very specific about what must be cited in the written materials and how it is to appear. We cannot overestimate the monumental nature of this victory for the pro-life movement and the women and children of Missouri. This is the most significant piece of pro-life legislation enacted in Missouri in nearly 25 years. The last time a bill of this scope and impact was passed by the General Assembly was in 1986, when the legislation that led to the Webster Supreme Court decision was adopted by the General Assembly. The Missouri Family Policy Council pioneered this informed consent legislation in the fall of 2007. We initiated the concept and developed the proposal with advice from Americans United for Life. The final bill reflects the language our organization recommended. We are most grateful to Senator Mayer for his exceptional leadership in shepherding this proposal to final passage over the course of these last three sessions. We appreciate the work of Representative Pratt and former Representative Bob Onder in championing this legislation in the Missouri House. We are thankful for the strong support of the leadership in the Missouri House and Senate, without which this bill would not have been adopted. We are grateful for the many strong pro-life members in each legislative chamber who voted for this life-saving bill. The final bill Senate bill included additional legislation introduced by Senator Scott Rupp of Wentzville which exempts Missouri from the pro-abortion provisions of the federal health care bill.
We will highlight that issue in an upcoming edition of the Jeff City Update. We ask you to do two things in the coming week. First, take the time to thank God for His mercies on our state, and His response to the prayers of His People. Citizens from all across Missouri were praying for our legislators like never before this session, and God's beneficent hand was evident on this and other issues. Missouri state government has had a long history of support for the sanctity of human life, yet our efforts to maintain that tradition have faltered in recent years. Missouri now has the opportunity to once again be in the vanguard of pro-life leadership. To God be the glory!

Secondly, contact the office of Governor Jay Nixon and ask him to sign Senate Substitute for Senate Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 793.  Please pray that the Governor will be responsive to the overwhelmingly pro-life sentiments of the families and citizens of Missouri. Please pray that he will recognize the importance of women receiving truthful information about one of the most important decisions they will ever make in their life. This is one of the most important decisions Governor Nixon will make as the chief executive of our state.

The following state representatives voted for Senate Substitute for Senate Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 793: Allen, Aull, Ayres, Biermann, Bivins, Brandom, Bringer, Brown (Jason), Brown (Dan), Bruns, Burlison, Casey, Conway, Cooper, Cox, Cunningham, Davis, Day, Deeken, Denison, Dethrow, Dieckhaus, Diehl, Dixon, Dugger, Dusenberg, Emery, Ervin, Faith, Fallert, Fischer, Fisher, Flook, Franz, Funderburk, Gatschenberger, Grill, Grisamore, Guernsey, Guest, Harris, Hobbs, Hodges, Hoskins, Hummel, Icet, Jones (Tim), Jones (Kenny), Keeney, Kingery, Koenig, Kratky, Kraus, Kuessner, Lair, Largent, Leara, Liese, Lipke, Loehner, McGhee, McNary, Meadows, Meiners, Molendorp, Munzlinger, Nance, Nasheed, Nieves, Nolte, Parkinson, Parson, Pollock, Pratt, Quinn, Richard, Riddle, Rucker, Ruestman, Ruzicka, Sander, Sater, Scavuzzo, Schaaf, Schad, Scharnhorst, Schieffer, Schlottach, Schoeller, Schoemehl, Self, Shively, Silvey, Smith (Joe), Smith (Jason), Stevenson, Stream, Sutherland, Swinger, Thomson, Tilley, Todd, Tracy, Viebrock, Walsh, Wasson, Wells, Weter, Wilson (Larry), Wilson (Kevin), Witte, Wright, Yaeger, Zerr State Representatives voting against SS SCS SB 793: Atkins, Burnett, Calloway, Chappelle-Nadal, Colona, Curls, Dougherty, Englund, Frame, Holsman, Hoskins, Jones, Kander, Kelly, Kirkton, Komo, Lampe, LeVota, Low, McClanahan, McDonald, McNeil, Morris, Newman, Norr, Oxford, Pace, Schupp, Skaggs, Spreng, Still, Storch, Talboy, Vogt, Walton Gray, Webb, Webber, Whitehead, Zimmerman State Representatives absent for the vote: Brown (Michael), Carter, Corcoran, Flanigan, Hughes, LeBlanc, Roorda, Salva, Wallace
Joe's Signature
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