MBC meeting in the shadow of abortuary
Such a somber site for annual gathering
By Allen Palmeri
October 18, 2005
SPRINGFIELD– If you’re traveling back and forth along the main route from the host church to the host hotel of the 171st annual meeting of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC), pray for the work of Dr. Allen Palmer at the corner of South Glenstone Avenue and East Cherry Street.
When you leave Second Baptist Church, Springfield, and turn right on Glenstone bound for the University Plaza Holiday Inn on the John Q. Hammons Parkway, ponder how unique Palmer is within the Springfield medical community. He is the only medical professional at the Springfield Healthcare Center who offers a particular service in the host city of the convention as well as in the entire southwest Missouri quadrant.
Palmer is an abortionist. His address is 1837 E. Cherry St.
“We want to pray for him, that Christ can reach his heart, but on the other hand, we want to pray against him, that the work that he is involved in would come to an end,” said Rodney Albert, chairman, MBC Christian Life Commission.
A new state law in Missouri nearly halted Palmer’s practice. He was scheduled to abort 22 babies Sept. 19, and he would have had to cancel those appointments if a federal judge had not issued a temporary restraining order blocking enforcement of the portion of the law that requires abortion doctors to have clinical privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of where the abortion is performed or induced. Palmer, who maintains a private practice in St. Louis, does not have those privileges in and around conservative Springfield.
As is often the case in situations like this, a federal judge stepped in to assist Palmer’s practice. U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey of the Western District has preserved the status quo despite the advice of editorial writers in the SpringfieldNews-Leader. On Sept. 21, they printed an opinion favorable toward the new law, concluding that it “would not cause an immediate and irreparable harm to the clinic, as abortion proponents convinced the judge. It simply raises the bar on the requirements to perform this operation.” As is typical in abortion litigation, there is no foreseeable end to the legal process, which means that Palmer can keep on practicing even as Missouri Baptists meet to worship in the same city.
The governor who signed the new law, Matt Blunt, is one of the featured speakers at the MBC annual meeting. Blunt does not take too kindly to what Palmer continues to do in his hometown, calling the judicial ruling that enables him to perform abortions in his customary location between the host church and host hotel of the convention “very disconcerting.” Blunt has consistently emphasized that he is not targeting Palmer alone, stating repeatedly that all of his public policies simply aim to reduce the number of abortions throughout Missouri.
Abortionists like Palmer have long sought to maintain a low profile, but lawsuits like the one filed Sept. 15 by The Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of Springfield Healthcare Center create the opposite effect. In that lawsuit, it is disclosed that Palmer is the only physician who chooses to terminate pregnancies at 1837 E. Cherry St. He also chooses to do abortions at two locations in Illinois. Palmer is one of a “small and dwindling number of physicians providing abortions,” the Washington Post reported Aug. 29.
“Abortionists want the money they make from abortions, not the credit for doing them,” said Joseph Scheidler, national director of the Pro-Life Action League. “Do everything possible to expose who is doing the abortions in your community.”
Albert said messengers to the MBC annual meeting have a wonderful opportunity to do just that.
“Let’s keep in mind that Dr. Allen Palmer is engaged in a business that has no legitimacy in the confines of Scripture,” Albert said. “His industry is abortion, and we should grieve over that. A federal judge has kept Dr. Palmer in business against the wishes of Missouri’s elected officials. However, he is engaged in an industry that flies in the face of biblical morality and is repugnant to the people of Missouri. We must pray for an end to it.”