Missouri Family E-News

May 23, 2018

                                       
Tax Credit 
Program for
PRC's Gains Extension  
 
The Missouri General Assembly has approved legislation which extends the availability of various benevolent tax credits.
 
Of most interest to the pro-life community are tax credits allocated for donations to pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes.
 
The law authorizing those tax credits expires next year.  The bill passed extends authorization for those tax credits through the year 2024.
 
The pro-life provisions of the measure adopted by the General Assembly were sponsored by Representative Kevin Engler of Farmington.
 
A major component of Representative Engler's bill was a section that expands the statewide cap on annual contributions to eligible organizations from $2.5 to $3.5 million. 
 
Under the terms of the program, individuals can make a charitable contribution to a crisis pregnancy center or maternity home, and then deduct 50% of that amount from the total they owe in state income tax.
 
A tax credit program provides substantial tax advantages over a program offering tax deductions, which merely reduce the income against which state tax is assessed.
 
Donors must make a minimum contribution of $100 to claim the credit, and can claim up to $50,000 in credits in a single tax year.
 
The fact that contributors can write off half of their donations to PRC's and maternity homes has been a Godsend to these local pro-life organizations.
 
To qualify for contributions that are eligible for tax credits, a PRC organization must be non-profit and provide cost-free services to assist women with unplanned pregnancies to carry those pregnancies to term.
 
Maternity homes must be non-profit residential facilities which are established specifically to provide housing and assistance to pregnant women choosing to carry their pregnancies to term.  
 
The Department of Social Services administers the program, and apportions the available tax credits each year among the eligible private agencies.
 
The bill that received final approval from the Legislature also extended the sunset date for tax credits for donations to child advocacy centers, food pantries, and homeless shelters.
 
The legislation also created new tax credits for contributions to diaper banks and programs addressing the unmet health, hunger, and hygiene needs of school children.
Donate Now
to Support
Missouri Family!

MO Senate Decries
Impact of Porn on
  American Culture   
 
The Missouri Senate has issued a formal condemnation of the poisonous influence of pornography on the American culture.  The Senate approved a resolution declaring that pornography leads to "individual and societal harms...and has a detrimental effect on the family unit."
 
The Missouri Legislature adjourned its regular session last week, but not before the Senate adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution 52, sponsored by Senator Ed Emery of Harrisonville.  The resolution received an unequivocal bipartisan endorsement by the Senate, winning passage by a vote of 31-0.  
 
"The proliferation of pornography is a disturbing and invasive social evil," Senator Emery said. "It perpetuates a sexually toxic environment.  Just as disturbing is modern culture's ambivalence to it."  The resolution was promoted by the Midwest Decency Coalition, with Uriah Stark, the organization's Midwest State Director, spearheading the effort. 
 
"Pornography has become the cancer that nobody wishes to speaks about," Stark says.  "This resolution helps break that silence in Missouri by declaring that pornography is a public health crisis."
 
The resolution states that easy access and consumption of pornographic content is contributing to the "hypersexualization of teenagers," resulting in "an increase in problematic sexual activity at younger ages, and an increased desire among adolescents to engage in risky sexual behavior."
 
The Senate resolution also deplores the corrosive manner in which depictions of pornographic acts normalize violence and abuse by equating sex with violence and pleasure with pain.   
 
The resolution points out how a rapidly growing body of research confirms that pornography is biologically addictive, and thus incites exposure to more extreme forms of porn in order to satisfy the user.  The language of the resolution calls out such extreme pornographic content in the form of violent degradation of women, child pornography, and sexual abuse of children.    
 
The statistics cataloguing pornography consumption are beyond staggering.  More people visit pornography websites each month than Netflix, Twitter, and Amazon combined.   61% of the instances of access to pornography websites occur through mobile phones, which are gifted to children at increasingly earlier ages with no content filters.
 
Thus it should be no surprise that 96% of young adults consider pornography as positive, acceptable, or have a neutral view of it.  Most view it as a staple of life in the real world with no actual moral significance.  The average age of earliest exposure to pornographic material is 11 years old, with one in five regular users of pornography under the age of 10. 
The visual prevalence of nudity in the eyes of young people is not limited to pornography use.  Surveys show that the "sexting" phenomenon among teenagers is pervasive.  62% of teens and young adults say they have received a sexually explicit image of another person.  41% of teenagers admit they have sent one of themselves to a boyfriend or girlfriend, often as an expected component of today's dating ritual.

Social scientists increasingly describe pornography as having a "narcotic" effect on the brain just as addictive if not more so than chemical controlled substances.  "Pornography works through the same neural circuits as illegal substances, has the same effects with respect to tolerance and withdrawal, and has every other hallmark of an addiction," says William Struthers, a professor of psychology at Wheaton College.

Struthers is the author of a book called Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain
"Pornography acts as a polydrug, and is visually magnetic to the male brain.  It develops a pathological relationship with a mood-altering experience that is vicarious and voyeuristic at its core."

Yet it has become well documented that pornography use is not the exclusive domain of men.  It is estimated that 1 out of every 3 women consciously accesses pornographic content on a continuing basis.  As a consequence, many of these women come to view the patterns of submissive sexual contact in porn to be the normal or expected elements of a sexual relationship.

Yet not all young people have decided to be indifferent to the deleterious impact pornography is having on their peers.  A group called Fight the New Drug has been promoting the message that pornography has negative neurological effects on an individual, causes sexual dysfunction, is damaging to relationships, is tearing apart families, and is inseparably linked to the world of sex trafficking.

Fight the New Drug  is part of a growing "Porn Kills Love" movement that is using social media to educate teens that pornography is anything but harmless recreation--it destroys the beauty of sexual intimacy as God designed it. 

While we rarely recommend organizations that are not Christian-based in their mission, we believe Fight the New Drug has resources on this issue that are thoroughly researched, extremely comprehensive, highly persuasive, and are presented from the perspective of younger generations.

You can access their website by using this link:

Joe's Signature

 

Missouri Family Policy Council, 1430 Triad Center Dr., Ste. B, St. Peters, MO 63376
Sent by info-plus@missourifamily.org in collaboration with
Constant Contact