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Missouri Family E-News August 2, 2010
Blunt Presses Effort to Close Door on Federal Abortion Funds

Missouri Congressman Roy Blunt is helping lead a new effort in Congress to establish a permanent government ban on the use of taxpayer funding for abortion. Blunt is a leading proponent of recently filed legislation which would establish the Hyde Amendment as a permanent feature of federal law.

Currently, Congress has to vote each year during the appropriations process to reauthorize the Hyde Amendment ban on federal Medicaid funding of abortion. The new legislation, sponsored by pro-life champion Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey, would enshrine the funding ban in federal statutory law.

Blunt called for the strengthening of the Hyde Amendment earlier this year during a commencement address at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar. "It is time to make the late Henry Hyde's amendment permanent law and apply it all operations of the federal government. It is the bare minimum that we should do to protect both unborn life and the conscience of American citizens who don't want to be forced to facilitate the ending of human life."

The "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" is also designed to shut off the subsidies for abortion coverage contained in the recently enacted federal health care bill. The Obama Administration recently proceeded with efforts to include abortion coverage in new federally-financed high-risk health insurance pools before public outrage forced them to retreat.

In addition to formalizing the Hyde Amendment, the new bill would also make permanent a number of other pro-life amendments which must be adopted annually. These include the Helms Amendment, which prohibits funding for abortion in overseas family planning programs; the Smith Amendment which prohibits elective abortion coverage for federal employees; and the Dornan Amendment, which prohibits federal funding for abortions in the District of Columbia.

Congressman Smith's legislation would also codify the Weldon conscience clause. That amendment prohibits discrimination against doctors, nurses, and hospitals who refuse to provide or refer for abortions. More than 150 Congressmen have already cosponsored Smith's bill. Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma has filed similar legislation in the Senate.

Cleaver, Clay Support Internet Gambling


Congressmen Emmanuel Cleaver and William (Lacy) Clay of Missouri have cast their votes in favor of legalizing internet gambling. Cleaver and Clay supported recent action by the U.S. House Financial Services Committee to endorse the elimination of federal restrictions on gambling online.

The legislation, promoted by Congressman Barney Franks of Massachusetts, would repeal the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). That law, adopted by Congress in 1996, required that banks implement tools to block transactions between customer accounts in the United States and offshore Internet gambling operations. UIGEA had overwhelming approval when it was adopted, with a vote of 409-2 in the House and no votes against it in the Senate.

Congressman Eric Cantor of Virginia says that Frank's bill is opposed by nearly the entire law enforcement community. "The FBI confirms the dangers inherent in Internet gambling, ranging from cheating and theft to money laundering, drug trafficking, and terrorist financing. The FBI has also indicated that it lacks the resources to regulate Internet gambling and prevent these types of occurrences."

45 state attorneys general have written Congress in opposition to Frank's proposal. They contend the new bill is an unprecedented power grab, and would completely divest the states of gambling enforcement powers.

Doug Carlson of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Commission, says that rolling the dice on Internet gambling is a bad risk for the country. "The ease and addictive power of point-and-click gambling from the privacy of a personal computer often yields financial ruin and broken families. The representatives who voted in committee to overturn the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act should be held to account."

Congressman Frank's proposal now moves forward for debate by the full House. You can let your Congressman know how you feel about the legalization of internet gambling by writing your Congressman

 

 

Federal Court Ruling Striking Down Traditional Marriage Stirs Outcry
The Alliance Defense Fund is appealing a federal court ruling that orders the state of California to redefine marriage to include individuals of the same gender. U. S District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that the definition of marriage as the union of a man and woman contained in California's state constitution violates the federal constitution. State Attorney, Chris Koster Walker's decision effectively strikes down Proposition 8, the ballot issue in which California voters amended their constitution to protect traditional marriage. Prop 8 was an initiative referendum launched to counter a California Supreme Court ruling. In that case, California's high court ruled that the state's law defining marriage as it has been known throughout history violated the California constitution.

Judge Walker states in his decision in the case of Perry v. Schwarzenegger that government has no legitimate purpose in limiting marriage to a man and a woman. State Attorney, Chris Koster He decrees that traditional marriage is "an artifact" rooted in "unfounded stereotypes and prejudices." Walker says there is no rational basis for denying marriage licenses to homosexuals. This is a ludicrous assertion, considering that virtually every culture and civilization in the history of the world has believed it to be thoroughly rational to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. "This decision is utterly unthinkable but totally predictable," says Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage. "One man, an openly gay judge, has wiped out the votes of 7 million Californians with one stroke of the pen. This ruling, if allowed to stand, threatens not only Prop 8 in California, but the laws in 45 other states that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman."

Brian Raum, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, says the decision is devastating not only to marriage but to our democratic system of government. State Attorney, Chris Koster "We cannot allow a handful of wealthy activists to gut the core of the American democratic system, and in so doing, force the entire country to accept a system that intentionally denies children the mom and the dad they deserve." Andrew Pugno, a lead counsel for Prop 8 supporters, added this: "What's at stake here is much bigger than California. Americans in numerous states have affirmed--and should be allowed to continue to affirm--a natural and historic public policy on marriage like this. We are prepared to fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary."

Judge Walker's decision comes on the heels of another ruling by a federal judge in Boston striking down portions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. DOMA protects states like Missouri that define marriage in traditional terms from recognizing so-called same-sex "marriages" endorsed by other states. State Attorney, Chris Koster Judge Joseph Tauro "concluded" that there is no "legitimate government objective" in defending traditional marriage. Legal scholars have called Tauro's decision one of the most illogical, contradictory, incomprehensible, and insensible opinions they have ever read.

Many observers believe that Perry v. Schwarzenegger has the potential to be the Roe v Wade of the homosexual rights movement. And they are right. State Attorney, Chris Koster The very same scenario is unfolding again according to the same game plan that was employed by the abortion rights movement in the early 1970's. Proponents of legalized abortion were lobbying state legislatures to liberalize their abortion laws. While they were successful in a handful of states, they met strong resistance in most states who retained laws safeguarding the lives of preborn children. So abortion advocates made the decision to do an end-run around the elected representatives of the people and seek to implement their agenda in federal court.

The abortion rights movement went venue shopping for liberal activist district court judges who would rule in their favor in appeals court circuits comprised of liberal majorities. State Attorney, Chris Koster Thus the Roe v. Wadecase was filed in Texas and the Doe v. Boltoncase was filed in Georgia. When judges in each of these cases ruled in favor of abortion rights, many observers dismissed their significance, saying they were isolated actions by "out-of-control judges" that would never hold up on appeal. When these challenges to abortion restrictions were then affirmed by federal appeals courts, many in the pro-life and pro-family community felt there was little likelihood that the Supreme Court would agree.

State Attorney, Chris Koster They felt confident there was no legal or constitutional basis for striking down abortion laws in almost every state in the nation, and the Supreme Court would not be so brazen as to thumb its nose at the clear majority sentiment of the American people. While there was no constitutional basis for the Roe v. Wade decision, the Supreme Court issued it anyway, concluding that they could force their own values on the American people with limited long-term resistance. They guessed wrong on the latter count, as the culture has refused to embrace their values and accept their verdict that unborn children do not lead meaningful lives and deserve no legal protection. The homosexual rights agenda is following the same script. They found two judges they knew would rule in their favor in the two most liberal federal appeals court circuits in the country. State Attorney, Chris Koster The Perry v. Schwarzenegger case goes to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is by far the most radical appeals court in the country. This is the circuit that ruled that the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance were unconstitutional. In the Boston case, the U.S. Justice Department must defend the Defense of Marriage Act on appeal. The Obama Administration has vowed to repeal DOMA, and Elena Kagan offered a lame defense of the law before Judge Tauro. The "gay rights" movement can count on the Justice Department to roll over and play dead as the case is heard on appeal.

So the question for pro-family Missourians and Americans is pretty simple: Are we going to slumber through the legal shenanigans being employed by anti-marriage activists like pro-life Americans did almost thirty years ago? State Attorney, Chris Koster Or are we going to rise up and declare forcefully that we will not allow derelict judges to destroy the institution of marriage in our nation? We will have much more on this issue in future newsletters, but for now we urge you to enlist in the efforts of the National Organization for Marriage. They have become the leading nationwide voice for traditional marriage, and have demonstrated the ability to engage this issue effectively. We urge you to become a member of their network and respond to their appeals. You can do so by visiting their website at this link: National Organization for Marriage We also encourage you to commit to passionate, persistent, and focused prayer for our nation. We challenge you to join a dedicated prayer movement. One example is Call2Fall, which has been organized by the Family Research Council. State Attorney, Chris Koster You can learn more about them at this link: Call2Fall Another impressive national prayer ministry calling for spiritual awakening in our land is TheCall. It is led by Lou Engle, who lives right here in our state in Kansas City. He is also part of the leadership team of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. You can be part of TheCall by visiting their website at this link: TheCall The foundational Scripture for TheCall is from Ezekiel 22:30: "I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it..." Are we prepared to answer His call?
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