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Missouri Family E-News

October 18, 2011

Missouri Knights Launch Ultrasound Campaign 



Missouri members of the Knights of Columbus organization have announced a campaign to expand the number of ultrasound machines in local pregnancy resource centers.


Missouri Knights have launched an initiative they are calling "Meet Life." Their goal is to place 50 new ultrasound machines in crisis pregnancy centers across the state over the next five years.  Organizers say their ultimate objective is to reduce the number of abortions in Missouri by one-half by the end of year 2016.


"Each child is a gift of God, the Author of all life, and it is our duty to love, cherish, and protect His incredible gift, says John Appelbaum, State Deputy for the Missouri Knights.  "This program will allow us to give pregnant women the opportunity to meet their baby as early as eight weeks into their pregnancy at no cost to them."


The effort by Missouri Knights is designed to work in collaboration with an existing Ultrasound Initiative begun by the national Knights of Columbus in 2009.  Under that program, the national organization provides matching grants to local pregnancy resource centers to cover one-half of the cost of an ultrasound machine.  The new "Meet Life" campaign is a pledge by Missouri Knights to come up with the other half of the funds for a total of 50 new ultrasounds.


The Knights' effort is being undertaken in collaboration with the Vitae Foundation and In His Image Ultrasound.  The initiative comes on the heels of legislation adopted by the Missouri General Assembly last year requiring that all abortion-minded women have an opportunity to view an ultrasound and hear the heartbeat of their  child prior to an abortion being performed.    


California Couple Fined for Hosting Bible Study 



The Pacific Justice Institute is going to court on behalf of a California couple who have been fined by local officials for hosting a Bible Study in their home.


Chuck and Stephanie Fromm have been slapped with a $300 fine by the city of San Juan Capistrano for holding a Bible Study meeting in their residence.  City officials have advised the Fromms that they will be fined an additional $500 for any additional Bible Study gatherings unless they obtain a conditional use permit.


The Fromms have lived for 18 years in their large home on a spacious lot in a semi-rural area of San Juan Capistrano.  Chuck Fromm is the publisher of Worship Leader magazine.  He and his wife host Bible studies on Wednesday night and Sunday morning.   


The city action came as a result of a complaint by an atheist neighbor, who raised traffic and parking concerns.   San Juan Capistrano has a zoning regulation that requires religious or fraternal organizations meeting in a residential neighborhood to obtain a special use permit.    


Brad Dacus,  President of the Pacific Justice Institute, says the group will appeal the fines to the Orange County Superior Court.  "An individual's home is probably the most revered in terms of that person's right to gather, to pray and to exercise their religion, particularly with friends and family."


"An informal gathering in a home cannot be treated with suspicion by the government just because it is religious--any worse than any other gathering of friends" Dacus adds.  "The city's action is a huge abridgement to personal freedom, to privacy, and to religious liberty."  


Dacus pointed out the irony of the city's anti-religious posture.  The city takes its name and is built around the 234-year old Catholic Mission San Juan Capistrano.


"We read in the news all the time about how China, Iran, and other regimes around the world invade the homes of believers and harass them for reading the Bible and praying. But this isn't some foreign country.  This is happening in America."


A similar case occurred in the last year in San Diego County, where a code enforcement officer tried to shut down a home Bible study.  


Missouri Congressmen Vote to Purge Abortion from Obamacare

Six of Missouri's nine U.S. Congressmen have voted to eliminate abortion funding from President Obama's federal health care law.   The Protect Life Act, sponsored by Congressmen Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania and Dan Lipinski of Illinois, has been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 248-173.

Missouri Representatives Todd Akin, Jo Ann Emerson, Sam Graves,  Vicky Hartzler, Billy Long, and Blaine Luetkemeyer all voted to remove abortion subsidies and abortion mandates from the new federal health care law.  Congressmen Russ Carnahan, William "Lacy" Clay,  and Emmanuel Cleaver all voted to support taxpayer subsidies of abortion.  Congressmen Akin, Graves, and Long, and Congresswoman Hartzler, had all been original co-sponsors of the legislation.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare, required for the first time that American taxpayers underwrite the practice of abortion.  The new law established subsidies in the form of  "affordability" tax credits and "cost-sharing reductions" to assist lower income individuals to obtain health insurance.  Those subsidies could be used to purchase insurance coverage providing abortions.

The President's new health care law also created an abortion mandate for any insurance company offering health care plans through new health insurance exchanges created by the law.  Any such company which sells policies which include abortion coverage must impose an abortion surcharge on all its enrollees whether they want such coverage or not.   The surcharge must be imposed on every individual regardless of age, gender, family status, or health condition.

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler hailed the bill's passage.  "It is unconscionable to force Americans who believe that human life is precious to use their tax dollars to pay for abortions.  These common sense provisions bring last year's health care overhaul into accord with long-standing federal policies prohibiting federal funding for abortion."

Hartzler is referring to what has been known as the Hyde Amendment, which for years has prevented the expenditure of federal dollars for the destruction of unborn human life through the Medicaid program.  The Hyde Amendment and other riders to federal appropriations bills have protected American citizens from having any financial participation in the provision of abortion.

Because President Obama's federal health care bill was a new body of federal law regulating private insurance coverage, it did not fall under the limitations established by the Hyde Amendment.  President Obama issued an executive order pledging that no federal money would support abortion, but it was meaningless, because the provisions of the law said otherwise.

The language of the Protect Life Act states that no funds from the federal health care law "may be used to pay for abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion," except in cases or rape or incest, or when the life of the mother is in danger.  The bill passed by the House makes clear that individuals can still purchase separate health insurance coverage for abortion so long as such coverage is paid for entirely using only non-federal funds.

The Protect Life Act also includes critical conscience protections for health care institutions, insurers, and providers.  It prohibits any federal agency from discriminating against any physician, health care professional, hospital, or health insurance plan because of their refusal to perform, participate in, or provide coverage for induced abortions.  The bill would also prohibit pro-abortion Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius from requiring any entity to provide access to or training in "abortion services."

Sebelius recently was the keynote speaker at the annual "Power of Choice" fundraiser for the National Abortion Rights Action League.  Sebelius told pro-abortion activists that "we are in a war" with pro-life lawmakers.  NARAL leaders cheered Sebelius for "guiding the implementation of the historic Affordable Care Act." 

The Protect Life Act now moves to the Senate, where its prospects are dim during this Congress.  Even if the bill were to make it through the Senate,  President Obama has promised to veto the measure.  Obama falsely claims that the bill would "restrict women's private insurance choices."

We encourage you to contact our U.S. Senators to urge them to take up and pass the Protect Life Act, H.R. 358.  Tell them you do not want any of your tax dollars to help pay for the killing of unborn children, whether through federal government programs or private insurance mandates.

You can contact Senator Claire McCaskill by using this link:
Senator McCaskill

You can contact Senator Roy Blunt by clicking this link:
Senator Blunt


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