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Missouri Family E-News

December 30, 2014

              
The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Year 2014   

The year 2014 was full of many momentous public policy developments in Missouri impacting the family.

Like every year in state government, there was the good, the bad, and the ugly to report when it comes to issues of concern to the Christian community.

In the adjacent lead story, we give special attention to the good, and one of the leading champions for Christian values in Jefferson City.

When it comes to the bad, this was unfortunately a year with a considerable amount of irresponsible behavior by those public officials who are supposed to conduct themselves with integrity.

Most of that bad behavior came from the judicial branch of government, where an unremitting campaign of hostility to marriage and traditional values has taken hold.

Three different judges took it upon themselves to brand the people of Missouri as irrational bigots in striking down state laws preserving marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

U.S. District Judge Ortrie Smith, and state Circuit Judges J. Dale Youngs and Rex Burlison were the lead bad actors of the year.  Their dictatorial rulings invalidated the express will of 71 percent of Missouri voters who enacted our state's Marriage Amendment.

The final legal battles on the marriage issue in Missouri will be determined in the coming year by the Missouri Supreme Court and the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

In the meantime, the reckless tyranny of Judges Smith, Youngs, and Burlison has already done incalculable damage to the institutions of marriage and family in our state.

We can only pray that God will intervene to spare the people of Missouri from the depraved consequences of these judges' corrupt conduct.

Yet, without question the ugliest conduct of the year belonged to Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster.  His refusal to appeal Judge Youngs' outlaw decision to the Missouri Supreme Court was absolutely unconscionable.

Koster took an oath of office to uphold and defend the Constitution of our state.  As the state's chief legal officer, it is his statutory responsibility to appear in court to argue in defense of laws enacted by state lawmakers and the people of Missouri.

Koster's shameless decision to break his oath of office and abandon his sworn duties was hands down the ugliest episode of the year.  His "willful neglect of duty" constitutes grounds for his impeachment.  We will see in the coming session of the General Assembly whether legislators agree.

As newly elected and returning legislators take their oath of office in the State Capitol next week to begin the first regular session of the 98th General Assembly, we pray that they will be faithful to the sacred trust with which they have been entrusted by their constituents and by God Himself.

May we all be faithful to that sacred trust in our own families and communities, and bring true honor and glory to the God who is the final judge of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

  

Listen to the Broadcast Version of the Jeff City Update online at 
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MO Family Champion
for the Year 2014:  Senator David Sater

The year 2014 was a year of substantial progress for pro-life efforts in the state of Missouri.  The centerpiece of that success was a new law extending the waiting period for abortions in the state of Missouri.

State Senator David Sater of Cassville was the lawmaker who initiated the drive to pass this very important piece of life-saving legislation.  Senator Sater's proposal significantly bolstered Missouri's current informed consent law.  For that reason, the Missouri Family Policy Council is saluting him as Missouri's "Family Champion" for the year 2014.

The new law originated by Senator Sater expanded the waiting period for elective abortions in Missouri from 24 to 72 hours.  That time span is the period between a pregnant woman's first visit to an abortion clinic and the point at which the abortion can actually be performed.

During a woman's initial visit to an abortion clinic, she is provided a packet produced by the state which details information about the abortion procedure and alternatives she may wish to consider.  The materials elaborate on the humanity of the preborn child, and include illustrations of the development of the unborn child at various stages of gestation.

The woman must be provided an opportunity to view an active ultrasound image of her child, and be allowed to hear the heartbeat of the child if it audible.  She must be supplied the names and addresses of pregnancy resource centers and adoption agencies, and be advised of resources which would assist her in carrying her child to term and caring for her newborn child.

The purpose of the extended waiting period is to provide a pregnant woman with adequate time to carefully evaluate the information she has been provided and the options before her.  The expanded waiting period ensures that a woman has sufficient time to thoughtfully consider the harsh consequences of abortion to her and her unborn child.

The additional 48 hours also assists the woman in making a decision that is truly her own, and not the result of coercion from other parties who would benefit from the "termination" of her pregnancy.  Women with unintended pregnancies are often under relentless pressure from boyfriends, parents, and even grandparents to make a hasty decision to abort.  Sexual predators and perpetrators of statutory rape are often eager to remove the evidence of their crime.

"Abortion is a matter of life and death," Senator Sater said during debate on the waiting period bill.  "Another 48 hours could very well be the difference between a life saved and a life ended.  This is an irreversible and permanent decision, and taking the time to think about the consequences is not unreasonable or a burden."

"Since Roe v. Wade, over 52 million children have been aborted in the United States," Sater added.  "When are we going to say enough is enough and do the right thing?  In Missouri, we believe life is worth protecting.  I intend to do all I can to defend those who cannot defend themselves."
This isn't the first pro-life law on the books in Missouri thanks to Senator Sater's pro-life leadership.  The "Senator from Barry" sponsored the current statute that protects the conscience rights of pharmacy owners in Missouri. 

Under the law, pharmacy operators cannot be required to stock or dispense drugs that violate their religious beliefs.  The law frees pro-life pharmacy owners from any involvement with the distribution of abortifacient drugs.  Senator Sater knows a little bit about this issue.  He is a licensed pharmacist who operated Sater Pharmacy in Barry County for nearly thirty years. 

Senator Sater and his wife, Sharon, have had a longtime commitment to the pro-life movement.  They were the co-founders of the Pregnancy Resource Center in Aurora, where Sharon has worked many volunteer hours.  They are members of First Baptist Church of Cassville.

Senator Sater is serving his first term in the Missouri Senate representing the 29th District, which includes Barry, Lawrence, McDonald, Stone, and Taney counties.  He had previously served four terms in the Missouri House.  The Senator is known for his gentlemanly demeanor and his kindly manner in an environment where civility is often in short supply.

Tucker Jobes, chief of staff to Senator Sater, says he admires the Senator's selfless approach to public service.  "He really cares about the people he represents.  He truly wants to make Missouri a better place to live and raise a family.  He always has a genuine interest in doing the right thing."

The Missouri Family Policy Council commends Senator Sater for his valiant and heartfelt pro-life leadership, and we are proud to recognize him as Missouri's "Family Champion" for the year 2014.

As the year comes to a close, several pro-life and pro-family legislators will be leaving the Missouri General Assembly as a result of term limits.  One of the most notable is current House Speaker Tim Jones of Eureka. 

Representative Jones was an ardent proponent of the pro-life cause, and was one of the most articulate and persuasive spokesmen for the sanctity of human life who has ever served in the General Assembly.  Under his leadership as House Speaker and House Majority Leader, pro-life objectives received priority attention in the Missouri House.

Speaker Jones sponsored the law which is now in effect in Missouri which bans most late-term abortions.  He has been a huge champion of legislation protecting the conscience rights of medical professionals and religious-based health care institutions.  His passionate and skillful efforts on behalf of pro-family concerns will be greatly missed.

We are grateful for all our departing legislators, and pray that God will bless them and their families as they continue their service to their communities.  We particularly want to mention Representative Kevin Elmer of Nixa, who sponsored the companion version of Senator Sater's waiting period bill that ultimately became law. 

We are most grateful as well to you and the many families across Missouri who are supporters of the Missouri Family Policy Council.  May you be blessed in many ways during the year 2015.

Joe's Signature