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Missouri Family E-News July 5, 2010
Federal Audit Reveals Billion Dollar Support for Abortion Industry
An Indiana Congressman is building support for his campaign to cut off federal funding of Planned Parenthood. U.S. Representative Mike Pence has sponsored the Abortion Provider Prohibition Act. The legislation would ban the use of taxpayer money under the Title X family planning program for organizations that provide or promote abortion. Pence points to a new audit report issued by the Government Accountability Office that reveals that Planned Parenthood has received over $650 million in federal funds over a seven-year period, with nearly half of it coming through the Title X program. "This report confirms that the largest abortion provider in America is being bankrolled by American taxpayers," Pence says. "In these tough economic times, there is simply no reason why taxpayer money should go to fund activities of abortion providers and equip them with the resources they need to end innocent human life." While federal law prohibits the use of Title X money directly for the performance of abortions, Pence says federal funding enables abortion providers to play bookkeeping games with taxpayer money. "When Title X money goes to agencies that provide abortions...it is being used to offset operational costs with federal funds, freeing up money to promote and provide abortions." The GAO report revealed that a total of nearly a billion dollars in federal taxpayer funds were distributed to pro-abortion organizations from fiscal years 2002 to 2009. In addition to Planned Parenthood, they included the Population Council, the Guttmacher Institute, and the Sexuality Information and Education Council. One of President Obama's first acts as President was to issue an executive order repealing what was known as the Mexico City Policy. That policy, first adopted in the Reagan administration, prohibited the dissemination of international family planning dollars to organizations which promote or perform abortion. 93 members of Congress have joined Representative Pence in sponsoring the bill to shut off funding to pro-abortion groups, including Missouri Congressman Todd Akin. "Whether or not you accept that ending an unborn human life is morally wrong, the overwhelming majority of Americans believe that taking the taxpayer dollars of millions of pro-life Americans and using them to subsidize the largest abortion provider in America is just plain wrong," Pence argues. Planned Parenthood performs nearly 300,000 abortions throughout the United States each year. They provide by far most of the abortions performed in the state of Missouri.
Anti-Porn Groups Condemn New .xxx Domain Address
 
Anti-pornography advocates are condemning the recent decision to create a dedicated online domain for obscenity. The International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the group that registers domain addresses on the Internet, has decided to create web addresses ending in ".xxx" beginning in 2011. ICANN claims that the change will create a "voluntary self-regulating community" of so-called "adult" websites, and simplify the filtering of online "adult content." Yet Aaron Kenny, co-founder of InternetSafety.com, says that is simply not the case. "The way in which ICANN has chosen to implement the .xxx domain will have no effect whatsoever in terms of filtering adult content on the Internet." "As long as there are still porn sites with .com extensions, you will still need to filter them one by one. Instead of solving the problem, ICANN has exacerbated it by paving the way for the porn industry to double their online footprint." Donna Rice Hughes, the President of Enough is Enough, says ICANN's decision is a big victory for the pornography industry. "The pornographers historically have .com addresses, which they will continue to keep. This new top-level domain will just simply give them another place on the Internet to sell, to market, and to promote their pornography. It will do nothing to protect children from pornography, in fact it will make it easier for them to find it." Online technology experts estimate that there are approximately 4.2 million pornography websites, attracting 75 million unique visitors each month. ICANN reports that they already have over 100,000 pre-sales of sites for the new .xxx Internet address. ICANN is a non-profit corporation chartered in California with an international board of directors which was established with the support of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Religious Liberty Proposal Fails Once Again in Missouri Senate

While the recent legislative session was a very productive one for the pro-family and Christian community, one critical issue failed to win approval by the General Assembly.
For the third straight year, religious liberty legislation promoted by the Missouri Family Policy Council died in the Missouri Senate. A proposed constitutional amendment to protect the religious freedoms of Missouri citizens, schoolchildren, and elected officials was approved by the Missouri House on a vote of 125-30. This is the third straight session that the joint resolution, sponsored by Representative Mike McGhee of Odessa, has won bipartisan support and passage in the Missouri House.
Unfortunately, Representative McGhee's bill, while endorsed by a Senate committee, was never taken up for debate by the full Senate. An identical bill, sponsored by Senator Delbert Scott of Lowry City, was discussed by the full Senate but was set aside after a filibuster by religious liberty opponents. Opposition has come from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, liberal Baptist groups, and Jewish organizations. They contend that the law would empower the Christian community to "place its symbols and impose its prayers on others in the public square." Yet the religious liberty amendment considered by the Legislature would protect the religious freedoms of adherents of any faith group and its believers. The amendment ensures that any person shall have the right to pray individually or corporately in private or public settings and on public property. It protects the rights of elected officials to pray on government premises and to invite ministers and clergypersons to offer invocations at public meetings.
In the public school setting, the proposed constitutional amendment assures students the right to pray and express their faith in and out of the classroom. It guarantees the right of students to express their beliefs in written and oral assignments. It protects students from being compelled to participate in educational presentations or participate in academic assignments that violate their religious beliefs. This is the fifth straight year that the Missouri House has passed some form of proposed prayer amendment to the Missouri Constitution. Attacks on the religious liberties of Christian families and citizens are so frequent and pernicious today that they constitute a new class of bigotry. Atheist groups advocate a distorted notion of the false legal theory of the separation of church and state, and in so doing, seek to squelch any and all forms of religious expression. This is a malicious abrogation of the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights, which asserts that government can take no action to prohibit the free exercise of religion. Federal courts have consistently declared that the government, including our public schools, cannot engage in "viewpoint discrimination" against religious speech. Instances of the denial of religious freedom and religious expression happen every single day in this country. A man from Elmira, New York, recently served a sentence of nine days in jail for praying in a public park. He and a group of other Christians had entered a public park where a "gay pride" event was being held and laid prostrate and prayed silently for the participants. They were arrested and charged with "disorderly conduct."

A teacher in San Diego, California, was ordered to remove posters from his classroom wall which read "In God We Trust" "One Nation Under God," and "God Bless America." He was told that the posters over-emphasized God, and that they might prove offensive to Muslim students. Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund are appealing a decision by a New Mexico judge upholding a ruling by the New Mexico Civil Rights Commission. In that case, the Commission had cited a Christian couple with discrimination. The couple own a photography business, and declined to photograph a same-sex "commitment ceremony." The couple were ordered to pay thousands of dollars in attorney's fees.
Liberty Counsel appealed a ruling of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of a high school student who gave thanks to God in her valedictorian speech. The Colorado high school attended by Erica Corder demanded she issue a public apology before they would provide her with her graduation diploma. The recent action by a federal judge in Wisconsin to declare unconstitutional the Congressional establishment of the National Day of Prayer is for many Christians the final straw on this issue. While there is no question that it often takes two or three sessions of the Missouri Legislature to win ultimate passage of new legislation, there is no excuse for the continuing failure of this proposition.
The proposal has overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers of the Legislature, and is being consistently blocked by the filibuster tactics of a couple of liberal state senators. The leadership of the Missouri Senate needs to put an end to this injustice, and give Missourians the opportunity to vote on this critical issue. Next session they will have the chance to prove they are serious about this subject.
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