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Missouri Family E-News

May 15, 2012

Pro-Life Bill Awaits Final Legislative Action

 

 

The Missouri General Assembly has less than one week left in the current legislative session, and major pro-life and pro-family pieces of legislation have yet to be finally adopted.

 

This year's session has been a highly fractious and unproductive gathering of the state's lawmakers.  It is hoped that state representatives and senators will act this week to adopt important legislation safeguarding the religious liberties of Missouri citizens and employers.

 

Major focus will be on Senate Bill 749, introduced by Senator John Lamping.  In its current form, that bill would require that all health insurance carriers in Missouri must offer policies that exclude coverage for contraceptives to individuals and entities that have moral objections to contraception.

 

Lamping's bill is a direct challenge to the recent contraceptive and abortion drug mandate of the Obama Administration.  That mandate requires that all health insurance plans sold in the United States must include all FDA-approved contraceptives in its basic benefits package.  This would force individuals and religious employers to underwrite the cost of abortifacient drugs.

 

Senator Lamping's bill, if adopted, would not negate the federal contraceptive mandate issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  However, it would establish public policy in the State of Missouri on this subject should the abortion drug mandate be withdrawn, reversed by Congress, or invalidated by a court of law.  

 

Lamping's bill has been amended by the House Health Insurance Committee to include two major pro-life measures.  One is the health care conscience rights bill developed by the Missouri Family Policy Council and the Missouri Catholic Conference.

 

That bill, sponsored by Representative Tim Jones and previously approved by the House, would protect the conscience rights of medical professionals and hospitals.  No licensed health care professional or health care institution could be forced to participate in medical procedures or research that violate their religious beliefs.

 

The bill will strengthen Missouri's current conscience protections as they apply to surgical abortion.  The law would also extend employment protection to health care employees and medical researchers who decline to participate in medication abortions, abortifacient drugs, fetal tissue research, and human cloning.

 

A second bill has been added to Senator Lamping's proposal which would protect the conscience rights of pharmacy owners.  That bill, sponsored by Representative David Sater, was also previously approved by the House.  It stipulates that no pharmacy can be required to carry or maintain in inventory any particular  prescription or nonprescription device.   

 

The bill would ensure that private pharmacies are not compelled to carry or dispense abortifacient drugs such as the so-called morning-after pill.  These so-called "emergency contraceptives" include abortifacient qualities that are lethal to a newly developing human embryo.

 

We encourage you to contact your state senator and state representative and ask them to support House Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 749.

 

You can contact your state representative by using this link:

Your State Representative

 

You can contact your State Senator by clicking this link:

Your State Senator  

 

This year's legislative session ends at 6PM on Friday.    

     

 

Senate Candidates Speak out in Defense of Traditional Marriage

Missouri candidates for the U.S. Senate are speaking out in defense of traditional marriage in the wake of President Obama's push to redefine the institution of marriage.  All three major Republican Senatorial candidates have strongly condemned Obama's formal announcement of support for redefining marriage to include same-sex unions.

Since his election to office, President Obama has been a rabid and frenetic advocate for the homosexual rights agenda.  His administration has refused to defend the Defense of Marriage Act,  and has derided state constitutional amendments preserving traditional marriage as "hateful" and "divisive."  Now the President has admitted what has been obvious for quite some time--that he is a champion of so-called same-sex "marriage."

In an unsurprising display of Biblical illiteracy, President Obama says he based his decision on the Scriptures.  "When we think about our faith, the thing that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing Himself on our behalf, but it's also the Golden Rule."

Former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman says she was saddened, but not shocked by the President's remarks on marriage.  "It saddens me that the President would seek to cheapen the institution of marriage.  I promise you that my position on this issue is crystal clear and unwavering.  My view of marriage will never change.  I will always fight to protect the definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman."

In fact, Steelman has done so during her career in public service.  During her tenure in the Missouri State Senate, Steelman sponsored the amendment to Missouri's Constitution preserving traditional marriage in our state.  Missouri voters approved that amendment in August 2004 with the overwhelming support of 71% of those who cast ballots.  Missouri's marriage amendment states "that to be valid and recognized in this state, a marriage shall only exist between a man and a woman."

St. Louis businessman John Brunner also expressed strong disapproval of Obama's campaign to change the meaning and definition of marriage.  "The President now wants the federal government to redefine marriage everywhere in our country with  his newly 'evolved' support for same-sex 'marriage.'  My consistent conservative belief is that marriage is between one man and one woman and it is a belief I will fight for in the United States Senate."

Congressman Todd Akin denounced the President's action as "an attack on our moral values."  Akin deplored what he called President Obama's "unquenchable desire to tear down the traditional family unit brick by brick."

Incumbent Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill sought to sidestep the issue, saying it is "a personal issue for many Missourians."  A spokesman for McCaskill said that she believes that states "should take the lead in determining marriage equality," a statement that makes clear that the Senator supports the redefinition of marriage.  McCaskill stood at odds with the people of Missouri when she opposed passage of the state marriage amendment in 2004.

Missouri's counterpart, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, vowed to continue to defend traditional marriage.  "Marriage is one of the essential building blocks of the traditional family.  I will continue to support the Defense of Marriage Act and protect what our Founding Fathers intended in the U.S. Constitution."

In the meantime, the U.S. House Armed Services Committee adopted an amendment promoted by Congressman Akin prohibiting the use of U.S. military installations for the performance of same-sex union ceremonies.  The U.S. Defense Department has authorized same-sex "marriages" in military chapels in states where so-called "gay marriage" has been legalized, in clear violation of the Defense of Marriage Act.

The Armed Services Committee also adopted an amendment sponsored by Akin protecting the conscience rights of military chaplains and service members.  The amendment preserves the religious freedom of chaplains to oppose the practice of homosexuality on moral grounds without fear of retaliation.

"Service members and chaplains are facing recrimination for their sincerely held moral and religious beliefs," Akin observed.  "Objections voiced to same-sex 'marriage' or the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' have become potentially career-ending.  The President's use of the military to justify his support for same-sex 'marriage' will only add fuel to the fire, potentially forcing service members and chaplains to violate their own consciences or face recrimination."

President Obama's support for the perversion of marriage stands in sharp defiance of the expressed sentiment of the American people on this issue.  Last week, North Carolina became the 31st state to amend its constitution to clarify that marriage can only be legally recognized as the union of a man and a woman.  Despite millions of dollars spent by the "gay rights" lobby and a flood of false and misleading media propaganda, the amendment passed with a very strong 61% majority.

Jeffrey Kuhner, President of the Edmund Burke Institute had this to say about the President's announcement:  "For decades, liberals--aided and abetted by the popular culture--have been bringing homosexuality into the mainstream.  It is slowly being promoted in public schools and constantly being glamorized in television shows and movies.  The more the homosexual agenda is spread, the more militant its advocates become.  They no longer want toleration.  They want full social acceptance."

"Once marriage falls, only one institution will be left standing in their way:  traditional Christianity.  The ultimate aim of the radical left has been to destroy religion--especially western Christendom.  Once religion dies, so does the culture and the civilization it spawned.  America is at a crossroads, enmeshed in a cultural war with homosexual advocates like Mr. Obama who are determined to strike at the very nexus of our civilization."

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