Governor looking to protect the unborn
3-part effort moving forward
By Allen Palmeri
April 4, 2006
JEFFERSON CITY – As lawmakers in the Missouri General Assembly cruise on by their March spring break and on into the home stretch of their legislative session, the three pro-life priorities of Republican Gov. Matt Blunt appear headed for passage, according to the lobbyist for the Christian Life Commission (CLC) of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC).
Kerry Messer on March 16 said the governor’s three wishes are going through the Capitol’s bill-making process and ought to be delivered to Blunt’s desk for their required signatures sometime this spring.
“We have a three-pronged approach to pro-life just for 2006,” he said. “We’re not talking about the agenda for next year or the year after or the year after. Again, we have a governor and a legislature that are deliberately plotting a pro-life course for this state, and we have already completely changed the policies of the state of Missouri in just the last couple of years. I believe eventually we will get to the point where we will ban all abortions in the state of Missouri as long as citizens continue to be involved in the political process.”
The governor spoke of his love for the innocents last October in his home church, Second Baptist Church of Springfield, when addressing messengers at the MBC annual meeting. He announced at that time that he would like to see representatives and senators craft three new pro-life provisions that would be of benefit to women in crisis pregnancies, pharmacists under duress and students who may be subject to indoctrination.
Those bills are: tax credits for pregnancy resource centers; protection for pharmacists and other professional-licensed health care workers who may be forced into providing “morning-after” abortion pills; and language that would prevent abortion providers who use public funds to teach sex education in Missouri’s classrooms. Sponsoring those bills are Reps. Allen Icet, R-Wildwood, Bryan Stevenson, R-Webb City and Cynthia Davis, R-O’Fallon, respectively.
Planned Parenthood operates the only two abortion clinics in Missouri (in St. Louis and Columbia), and Messer is concerned about a “conflict of interest” that involves Planned Parenthood drumming up business in public schools by the use of literature that the governor has called “propaganda.” Blunt is encouraging more abstinence education.
The conscience clause provision is important, Messer said, because biblically we are to “punish evildoers and reward those who do good.” Rep. Ed Emery, R-Lamar and a member of First Baptist Church of Lamar, is among several lawmakers who are taking ownership in that bill. Emery said he would like to see Missouri law strengthened to a point where the pharmacy business owner is clearly and quite obviously protected.
The tax credit for pregnancy resource centers is vital, Messer said, because it gets more of the state’s “good, conscientious citizens” involved in the lives of girls and young women who are often troubled and confused.
“We can then say, ‘We’re here to support you so you don’t make this life-altering decision. We would rather you make a decision for life,’” he said. “We discover the blessings continue to flow throughout life once the initial decision to allow for life begins.”
The vast majority of lawmakers in both the Missouri House of Representatives and the Missouri Senate are pro-life.