Missouri Family E-News

May 9, 2017

Trump Takes Action on Religious

President Donald Trump used the occasion of the annual National Day of Prayer last Thursday to issue a much-anticipated executive order on religious liberty.

The main feature of Trump's order was instruction to the Internal Revenue Service to relax its enforcement of laws prohibiting political involvement by churches and religious organizations.

President Trump made clear during his campaign that he was strongly opposed to what is known as the Johnson Amendment. 

That provision of the federal tax code restricts churches from making any statements in support of or opposition to candidates for public office. Churches who violate the restriction are subject to loss of their exemption from federal taxation.

The executive order directs the IRS not to "unfairly target" the tax-exempt status of churches and religious organizations who engage in political speech.

"We are giving churches their voices back," Trump said in signing the executive order in the Rose Garden.  "The federal government will never penalize any person for their protected religious beliefs.  We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied, or silenced again."

"No one should be censoring sermons or targeting pastors," Trump remarked.  "In America, we do not fear people speaking freely from the pulpit.  We embrace it."

Trump cited the historic impact of African-American churches in "spurring our nation to greater justice and equality."  "We must never infringe on the noble tradition of change from the church, and progress from the pew."

President Trump has also directed Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to "re-examine" the Obama Administration's contraceptive and abortion drug mandate.

Under that mandate, every health insurance policy issued in the United States was required to include no-cost coverage of abortifacient drugs such as Ella and Plan B, often referred to as "morning-after" pills. 

Present at the ceremony were members of the Little Sisters of the Poor, who have been waging a legal battle with the federal government over the requirement that their own health plan include abortion drug coverage.

President Trump told the nuns who were present:  "Your long ordeal will soon be over.  With this executive order, we are ending the attacks on your religious liberty."

Secretary Price said that his department would be "taking action in short order to follow the President's instruction to safeguard the deeply held religious beliefs of Americans who provide health insurance to their employees."

Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, cheered the President's actions.  "The freedom to live out faith in all areas of society without government punishment or intimidation is what has made America great."

"This step today starts the process of reversing the devastating trend set by the last Administration to punish charities, pastors, family-owned businesses, and honest, hard-working people simply for living according to their faith," Perkins continued.

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt also applauded the President's action.  "I hope this executive order makes it clear today that harassment of religious groups is going to stop.  Whether you're a person of faith, or no faith at all, you should be able to pursue those beliefs."       
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Judge Orders State
to Expedite Licenses
for Abortion Clinics

A federal judge has ordered the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) to expedite the issuance of licenses to Planned Parenthood organizations to open four new abortion clinics in Missouri.  In a new order released last week, U. S. District Judge Howard Sachs said that "the Court expects current and future [abortion] licensing applications to be processed promptly...without effective influence from opponents of abortion."

Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region has announced that they plan to begin providing abortions at clinics in Springfield and Joplin as soon as they receive operating licenses from DHSS.  The plan is to offer chemical abortions at the outset.

Once they receive clearance from the state, Planned Parenthood Great Plains is gearing up to offer chemical abortions at a clinic in Kansas City, Missouri, and to reopen their Columbia clinic where they will offer both chemical and surgical abortions.

Chemical abortions involve the distribution of the drug regimen RU-486.  A woman first takes the drug mifepristone, which causes the death of the unborn child by breaking down the endometrial lining of the uterus.  The woman subsequently takes the drug misoprostol, which initiates contractions and thus expels the dead child from the womb. 

RU-486 is often referred to as the "do-it-yourself" abortion method, because the finality of the process occurs in the privacy of one's home.  The remains of the child are usually expelled into the toilet, and then flushed away.  The woman is supposedly then able to resume her normal activity without having had to undergo a surgical procedure.

The fact is RU-486 is a dangerous drug which often causes excessive blood loss.  It is known to cause sepsis, many times as a result of "incomplete" abortions where body parts of the preborn child have remained in the mother's uterus.  At least 14 women have died since the drug's inception, and more than 2200 women have reported significant complications.

Last year, the Obama Administration's Food and Drug Administration extended the recommended upper limit for use of the drug from 49 to 70 days of pregnancy.  Expanding the usage protocol to a later gestational age increases the occurrence of failed chemical abortions, necessitating emergency room treatment for women with tissue from the unborn child still present in their uterus.      
Missouri currently only has one operating abortion clinic--the Reproductive Health Services mega-clinic operated by Planned Parenthood in St. Louis, where both surgical and chemical abortions are provided.  The green light to open new abortion clinics in Missouri is the result of a preliminary injunction issued by Judge Sachs last month striking down two longstanding abortion clinic regulations.

One state law required that abortion clinics meet the same health and safety standards as other ambulatory surgical centers.  The other required that physicians performing abortions must have staff privileges at a nearby hospital in the community.  Missouri was the first state to adopt such requirements, with the original statute dating back to 1986.

Now that these laws have been nullified, Planned Parenthood can implement its business model of fly-by, drive-by abortions.  Abortionists fly into or drive into a community, conduct abortions in assembly-line fashion, and then fly or drive out of town to their next killing center.  These doctors have never seen the women on whom they are performing abortions, and have no medical credentials in the community assuring continuity of care.

The ruling by Judge Sachs was inevitable as a result of a dreadful decision by the U.S. Supreme Court last summer in a case known as Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt.  In that decision, the High Court struck down a Texas law with provisions very similar to those in Missouri.  However, the latest edict by Judge Sachs and the language of his court orders make it clear that he is functioning not as an arbiter of the law, but as an agent for Planned Parenthood's abortion agenda.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley has said that his office will appeal the preliminary injunction action by Judge Sachs to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.  "These portions of Missouri law protect the health and safety of women who seek to obtain an abortion.  Missouri has an obligation to do everything possible to ensure the health and safety of women undergoing medical procedures in state licensed medical facilities," Hawley said.

In his latest order, Judge Sachs stated that the Department of Health and Senior Services "is free to use all other licensing and inspection activities in its oversight of abortion facilities."  That means that other pro-life laws mandating a 72-hour period for abortions, and the provision of informed consent materials to abortion-minded women remain in force.

Joe's Signature


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