Missouri Baptist women respond to attack
on governor by pro-abortion feminist groups
By Allen Palmeri
November 15, 2005
JEFFERSON CITY – Leading Missouri Baptist women are rallying to the defense of Gov. Matt Blunt, whose stated opposition to the so-called “morning-after” birth control pill in an Oct. 25 speech to the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) has put him at odds with the newly formed “Coalition Against the War on Women.”
The coalition came out against the governor’s public policy in a Nov. 9 news conference. Consisting of more than a dozen Missouri union and women’s-rights groups as well as some religious organizations, the list of coalition members includes: Missouri Women’s Coalition; Missouri Women’s Network; Change for Missouri (DFA); Planned Parenthood Advocates of St. Louis; NARAL Pro-choice Missouri; National Women’s Political Caucus of St. Louis; St. Louis NOW; National Council of Jewish Women; Missouri Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice; West County Democrats; Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice; Coalition of Labor Union Women—St. Louis Chapter; and the College Democrats of University of Missouri—Kansas City, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
A spokeswoman for the group said the governor is engaged in a “war on women.”
That is absurd, Blunt spokesman Spence Jackson said. The idea that the 34-year-old governor, who is married, has recklessly declared war on the ladies of Missouri is both cruel and uncivilized, Jackson said.
“That is way over the top,” he said. “It’s a ridiculous statement. No recent governor in Missouri history has done more to protect the sanctity of human life than Governor Blunt.”
In actuality, the governor is standing with the wives of Christian pharmacists who do not want their husbands to be turned into abortionists.
“No health care provider should be compelled to take innocent life,” Blunt told messengers at the MBC annual meeting, which happened to be at his home church, Second Baptist of Springfield.
Eleanore Warner, a member of the MBC Executive Board who has been involved in the pro-life movement for more than 30 years, said the War on Women Coalition represents a minority of Missouri’s women. She said she stands with her governor as he supports a new state law that would protect any Missouri pharmacist who seeks to take a moral stand for life from being forced into providing the Plan B pill. It is simply reasonable public policy in a demonstrably pro-life state like Missouri, she said.
Warner said the women of the coalition are identified in the Holy Scriptures as being blinded by an unholy blend of the world, the flesh and the devil. In other words, Warner said, they know not what they do.
“I feel like the women really are not informed,” she said. “As a registered nurse and a state-certified midwife in England, I can see that life does begin at conception and these women are somehow being used. They’ve either been duped or have been treated badly by men. They just need the Lord, I would say.”
Suzanna Clippard, wife of MBC Executive Director David Clippard and a registered nurse as well, agreed.
“I am so glad the governor is fighting for me and for women,” she said. “He’s speaking the truth about life and when it begins. Life is precious from the beginning. I think most Missouri Baptist women would agree with me, based on three years of going with David to the churches and talking with women.”
Concerned Women for America (CWA) of Missouri approves of the governor’s stand on the issue.
“We appreciate the stand the governor has taken on making sure that pharmacists in Missouri will be able to abide by their consciences when it comes to not filling prescriptions for abortifacients,” said Bev Ehlen, legislative liaison, CWA Missouri. “This coalition of whiny women wants everything their way even to the point of denying a pharmacist her freedom of conscience. Their definition of tolerance is only one way. There is no evidence that this policy has denied any woman their access to such drugs. CWA Missouri appreciates the governor and the policies he supports that honor women.”
Warner noted that even though the coalition has lined up groups with big-sounding names like “Missouri Women’s Coalition” and “Missouri Women’s Network,” it is nothing more than “a lie” that these women are in the majority.
Jackson agreed. “Most Missourians support the governor’s policy,” he said.