Banner 2 no message

Missouri Family E-News

August 20, 2013

                
State Rep
Files Suit on  Abortion Rx Mandate   

 

 

A Missouri state legislator has filed suit in U.S. District Court seeking to exempt his family from the federal contraceptive and abortion drug mandate.

 

State Representative Paul Wieland of Imperial is the plaintiff in the suit, which contends that the health care mandate violates his family's First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion.

 

Wieland explains that he and his wife Theresa are devout Catholics, and that the use of abortifacient drugs violates Catholic teaching on the sanctity of human life.

 

"I see abortion-inducing drugs as intrinsically evil, and I cannot in good conscience preach one thing to my kids and then just go with the flow on our insurance," Wieland says.

 

The Jefferson County legislator says he made the decision to contest the federal contraceptive mandate when he was notified that the state government health insurance plan would now include coverage for abortifacient drugs and devices.

 

State law currently allows health insurance consumers to request policies that exclude contraceptive coverage.  The federal mandate, issued by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, has nullified the Missouri law.   

 

The Sebelius mandate requires that every health insurance policy written in the nation must include coverage for any and all "contraceptives" approved by the Food and Drug Administration.  These include the abortifacient drugs Ella and Plan B.

 

"We value our faith and make a sacrifice to teach our children the faith,"  Wieland states.  "Now the government says you have to do something morally wrong and you don't have any choice.  This is a moral conundrum for us."

 

While numerous legal challenges have been filed across the nation challenging the contraceptive edict, most of them have been brought by Christian employers or religious-based institutions.   

 

The suit filed by Representative Wieland is one of the few initiated by an individual on behalf of his family.  Wieland is being represented by attorneys for the Thomas More Society.

 

"The intention of our Founding Fathers was to protect people from government imposition into their religious convictions," says St. Louis attorney Timothy Belz, special counsel for the Thomas More Society.   

 

"The particulars of Obamacare are forcing our clients to participate in something they believe to be gravely immoral.  The federal government is coercing our clients into abandoning their religious views and interfering with these parents' rights to raise their daughters within their Catholic principles."

 

 

Christian Bistro Owner Faces Bias Charges


The Christian owners of a bistro and art gallery in Iowa are facing discrimination charges for refusing to allow their property to be used for a same-sex union ceremony.

The Gortz Haus Gallery is located in Grimes, Iowa, in a stately structure that formerly served as St. Peter's Lutheran Church.  The owners, Dick and Betty Odgaard, are members of the Mennonite faith.  In addition to the restaurant and art gallery, the Odgaards operate a floral shop.

When approached by two men who wanted to use the old church property for a homosexual "wedding," the Odgaards declined, citing their religious convictions.   "To us, marriage is a sacrament that exists only between a man and a woman," Betty Odgaard explains.

Now the homosexual "couple" say they may file a complaint with Iowa Human Rights authorities alleging "sexual orientation" discrimination.  Under Iowa law, "public accomodations" cannot decline services based on so-called "sexual orientation."

Since their decision, the Odgaards have received on a daily basis dozens of vicious and hateful e-mails and phone calls.  While most of them are too vile and obscene to be reprinted, one person wrote:  "Betty, you're very old and almost dead.  How do you feel, knowing that America, and the world, will be a better place without you?"

The homosexual rights movement continues to push for passage of state and local "public accommodations" laws all across the country.  Under these laws, Christian business owners can be coerced to sponsor and support homosexual ceremonies and activities under threat of prosecution.

The Missouri Senate passed such a law during the recent legislative session.  Fortunately, the Missouri House rejected this threat to the religious freedom of Missouri citizens and business owners.    
  

Federal Auditors
to Conduct Probe of
Planned Parenthood 
  
  
A federal watchdog agency has announced it is launching a formal investigation into the business practices of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its affiliates.  The Planned Parenthood probe is being conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), a federal auditing agency that used to be known as the General Accounting Office.  The GAO investigates allegations of illegal and improper expenditures of federal funds.

The GAO announcement comes in response to a letter sent to the agency in February by 72 pro-life Congressmen demanding a review of funding allocated to Planned Parenthood and other "family planning" organizations.  The Congressional push to examine the books of the abortion industry giant comes in the wake of repeated evidence of fraudulent billing practices by Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country.

The latest episode of calculated financial misconduct in Planned Parenthood's abortion empire occurred in Texas earlier this month.  Planned Parenthood of the Gulf Coast agreed in a federal court settlement to repay a total of $4.3 million in bogus Medicaid reimbursement claims to the state of Texas and the federal government.

Planned Parenthood's fraudulent behavior was exposed by Karen Reynolds, a ten-year employee of the the Gulf Coast affiliate.  In her lawsuit, Reynolds revealed that Planned Parenthood billed the Texas Medicaid program for services that were never provided, for services that were not medically necessary, and for services not covered by the Medicaid program.  Reynolds testified that the agency falsified the medical records of patients in order to justify the fabricated reimbursement claims.

Senator David Vitter of Louisiana welcomed the news of the GAO probe.  "Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide abortions clearly benefit from Uncle Sam, but there's no accounting to prove how they actually use that money.  This GAO report would shine a  light on how our tax dollars are being spent."

"Planned Parenthood performed...almost one million abortions in the past three years," Vitter points out.  "At the same time, they received more federal taxpayer dollars than ever before--a record $542 million."

Congressman Pete Olson of Texas says the federal audit of funds appropriated to Planned Parenthood is long overdue.  "Despite the best and slickest market branding money can buy, the stubborn fact remains that Planned Parenthood clinics are the most dangerous place on Earth for a child.  It is deeply troubling that Planned Parenthood claims direct responsibility for killing over 6 million unborn babies, yet they still receive taxpayer money."

Senator Vitter and Congresswoman Diane Black of Tennessee are sponsors of legislation to ban federal funding of abortion providers.  Known as the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, the bills would ban the allocation of Title X federal "family planning" funds to organizations that perform abortions.  While current law prohibits the use of such funds for abortion services, abortion providers like Planned Parenthood inevitably use the federal reimbursements to underwrite their abortion operations.

Allegations that Planned Parenthood has engaged in brazen and bloated abuse of taxpayer dollars have continued to mount, including notable cases here in the Midwest.  In neighboring Iowa, the former manager of two Planned Parenthood clinics has filed suit in federal court claiming that Planned Parenthood filed nearly half a million false Medicaid claims during the last decade, earning the abortion provider $28 million in revenue they were not entitled to.

Sue Thayer states in her lawsuit that Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa collected money for services from low-income patients, yet still billed Medicaid for the full cost of the services.  Thayer also charges that the agency billed Medicaid for ten times the actual cost of contraceptive pills.  She also says that Planned Parenthood clinics charged off to Medicaid all costs of providing abortions except for the performance of the abortion itself. 

A U.S District Judge dismissed Thayer's suit last December, stating that her allegations lacked "specificity."  The case is now being appealed to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals by the Alliance Defending Freedom.

In neighboring Illinois, a Medicaid fraud settlement was announced last fall involving the medical director of Planned Parenthood of Illinois, Dr. Caroline Hoke.  The abortion provider agreed to repay the state of Illinois $367,000 in reimbursement claims that were allegedly submitted for services that were never performed.  Dr. Hoke received nearly $4 million in payments from the state over a three-year period for her "family planning services," making her the fourth highest billing physician in the state.

A lawsuit is still pending in federal appeals court in California concerning a massive fraud case brought by a whistleblower there.  P. Victor Gonzalez, the former chief financial officer of Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles,  reveals that the organization deliberately inflated reimbursement claims several times over their true cost.  An audit by California state officials found that a San Diego Planned Parenthood affiliate overbilled the state by more than $5.2 million.

The colossal amount of government funding Planned Parenthood affiliates receive explains why the "non-profit" organization is ever so profitable.  During its most recent fiscal year on record, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America reported net assets of just over $1 billion.  Nearly 51% of the organization's annual revenue came from government health services grants and reimbursements.

Planned Parenthood is anything but non-profit in the salaries it pays its managers.  The average salary of its affiliate directors is $159,000 a year, with 30 of the directors making more than $200,000 per year.  Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards "earns" nearly $400,000 annually.

We want to commend the members of the Missouri Congressional delegation who joined in the call for the investigation of Planned Parenthood by the Government Accountability Office. U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, and Congressmen Billy Long and Blaine Luetkemeyer were signatories to the letter to Comptroller General Gene Dodaro.

We pray that the day will come when American taxpayers will no longer be fattening the pockets of an organization that makes its living off the barbaric brutality of preborn children.

Joe's Signature