|Amendment 3, the Raise Your Hand for Kids Initiative, will appear on the ballot in November. It is a proposal to raise the tax on cigarettes, and to even the competitive playing field between the big tobacco companies and the little tobacco companies that did not participate in the tobacco settlement agreements years ago.
The money raised by the new taxes on cigarettes will pay for early childhood education and healthcare programs. Some of the money (at least 10%) will be used to provide funding for early childhood healthcare programs for children aged birth to five years.
“These are patients that don’t get pregnant or need abortion services,” said Tyler McClay, general counsel for the MCC, “So, any grants awarded under the proposal will not be funding abortions.”
“Opponents of Amendment 3 may have various reasons for opposing the proposal, but concerns that Amendment 3 will somehow create a constitutional right to abortion, or allow state funding for abortion shouldn’t be among them,” McClay explained.
The MCC is neutral on Amendment 3 and encourages Missouri voters to review the proposal and vote their conscience. To review the MCC’s statement on this Amendment,click here.
Following the release of videos last summer showing the unsavory practice of the commercialization of fetal remains from abortions performed at Planned Parenthood facilities across the country, the Missouri General Assembly began investigating the practices of Planned Parenthood in Missouri.
As part of that investigation, the Missouri Senate sought documents from the abortion giant relating to its policies and procedures concerning disposal of fetal remains. Those documents were recently made available to senate staffer, Todd Scott, an attorney who works with the Republican majority in the Missouri Senate.
The MCC will be following this investigation as it continues over the next few months.
The Archdiocese of St. Louis Respect Life Apostolate Office is reporting that medical records released by the St. Louis Fire Department reveal that there have been 58 medical emergencies at the St. Louis Planned Parenthood from January 1, 2009 to April 6, 2016.
Most of the emergencies were for hemorrhage, 23 of which were potentially dangerous. To review the records and the explanatory affidavit that accompanied them, click here.
By a vote of 121-34, the Missouri House of Representatives has third read and passed HB 1370, sponsored by Rep. Rocky Miller (R-Lake Ozark). The bill requires any parent consenting to an abortion for a minor to notify his or her estranged custodial spouse in writing of the abortion before giving consent. The bill would not require notice be given if the estranged spouse was guilty of child abuse, or other crime against a child or the family, had their parental rights terminated, or had an order of protection entered against them. The bill now moves to the Senate for further consideration.
The House Children and Families Committee this week heard HB 2068, HB 2069, HB 2070, HB 2071, and HB 2371, five pro-life bills sponsored by Diane Franklin (R-Camdenton) and Andrew Koenig (R-Manchester) addressing the disposition of fetal remains from abortions performed in Missouri. The hearing was contentious; pro-life advocates testified in favor of the bills, and two physicians being trained to perform abortions in a fellowship program at Washington University in St. Louis testified against the bills.
Senator Bob Onder’s (R-St. Charles) SB 644, a bill addressing the disposal of fetal remains from abortions and the granting of hospital privileges to abortionists, is poised for debate on the Senate floor. The MCC testified in support of the bill, which would prohibit women seeking an abortion from donating fetal tissue for research, and also require all fetal remains from an abortion be submitted to a lab for inspection. The bill also requires any abortionist in Missouri to have admitting and surgical privileges at a nearby hospital so that women experiencing complications can receive appropriate treatment. Stay tuned!
This week, Missouri Right to Life held their first of two lobby days at the Missouri Capitol. The second will be on April 5th. Those attending were treated to speeches by Sue Thayer, a former Planned Parenthood manager from Iowa, and Stacy Washington, a pro-life blogger and radio personality. The crowd also heard from a pro-life legislator during a rally held in the Capitol rotunda. Read more here.
Photo taken by Jennifer Brinker
SB 816, which would repeal the death penalty in Missouri, and SB 644, which addresses fetal tissue donations in Missouri and inspections of abortion clinics, both received a “Do Pass” vote this week from their respective committees. The MCC is working for passage of both bills.
Those in favor of the bills testified about the importance of all lives, “from womb to tomb.”
The Senate Committee on Seniors, Families & Children heard SB 644, sponsored by Sen. Bob Onder (R-St. Charles). SB 644 would prohibit fetal tissue from an abortion from being donated for research and would require all fetal remains obtained from an abortion to be submitted for a pathological examination and disposal. Only sample tissue needed for law enforcement purposes and/or to diagnose suspected diseases could be retained.
SB 644 would also require all abortion clinics in Missouri to be inspected once a year, and that any abortionist have admitting and surgical privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic.
In other committee action the Senate General Laws and Pensions Committee voted “Do Pass” SB 816, sponsored by Sen. Paul Wieland (R-Imperial), which would repeal the death penalty in Missouri. The Missouri Catholic Conference’s General Counsel Tyler McClay testified in support of the bill when it was first heard last week.
In introducing his bill to the committee, Sen. Wieland said that he was motivated to sponsor the bill because of his pro-life beliefs. “For me to be consistent with my pro-life beliefs, I need to not only protect the innocent unborn, but also those guilty of serious crime,” Wieland noted.
Both pro-life bills SB 816 and SB 644 can now move to the full Senate for further consideration. You can read the full MCC press release here.
This week the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review a lower court ruling striking a North Dakota law making abortion illegal when a fetus’ heartbeat is detectable. The North Dakota ban would have effectively made abortion illegal at as early as six weeks gestation. Last week, the Supreme Court refused to review a similar ruling striking an Arkansas heartbeat ban when the fetus is “at least twelve weeks.”
The Supreme Court’s refusal to intervene makes it clear that for now the right to abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy continues to be constitutionally protected. While the number of abortions annually in the U.S. is declining, there are still upwards of one million abortions a year in the U.S., and 58 million unborn children have been aborted since Roe. Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!
Thousands of people participated in the 2016 March for Life, despite the ominous blizzard (nicknamed #snowzilla) bearing down on the Mid-Atlantic states. For many, the oncoming storm meant leaving DC before the march began to avoid getting snowed in, but for those who marched it was business as usual, as you can see in this video.