Missouri Right to Life
Post Office Box 651
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Phone 573-635-5110
FAX 573-635-9285


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Education, legislating, and activating citizens in the cause of life

January 4, 2017

Missouri State Capitol
Jefferson City, MO 65101

Dear Legislator:

Welcome to Jefferson City!  We have all just come through an unbelievably amazing election cycle!  And, the people of Missouri are looking forward, more than ever before, to your leadership on pro-life legislation.  They have given you the great privilege and opportunity to advance the cause of life in our state as well as our nation. 

Missouri Right to Life chooses its primary legislation based on the most critical issues in protecting innocent human lives.  We urge you to support our primary legislation for the 2017 legislative session.  Missouri needs more accountability and oversight of abortion clinic inspections.  This life-saving legislation will ensure that abortion clinics meet the standard of care that other medical facilities must meet.  Currently, Missouri does not require an annual on-site inspection of abortion facilities.  Many deficiencies have been found in abortion clinics in the few times they have been inspected over the years.

More oversight will also ensure that baby body parts are not being sold in Missouri.  The disposition of baby body parts needs to be clearly regulated in statute to ensure that no marketeering of baby body parts takes place.  In addition, we need to continue to ensure that public tax dollars are not being used for abortion services or to purchase baby body parts from abortions.  Abortion and marketing of baby body parts are atrocities that should not be taking place in a just society.

There is a clear need for legislation to improve the inspection process.  Accountability is needed for the protection of women and their unborn children.  Please see other relevant information in your packets for this important legislation.

Legislation that likely will come before you that MRL is working to pass:

  • annual abortion clinic inspections
  • accounting of all baby body parts after an abortion
  • the pain capable unborn child protection act
  • ban dismemberment abortions
  • defund Planned Parenthood – fund women’s health care through other agencies that offer more services
  • ban public funding of abortion services, human cloning and human embryonic stem cell research
  • update abortion statistic reporting
  • require that if women are referred to out of state abortion clinic that they are given Missouri’s informed consent information
  • prevention of DNR orders being placed in minors medical files without parents knowledge
  • parental rights for IVF embryos
  • two parent notification for all custodial parents
  • continuation of the alternatives to abortion funding and tax credits for PRC’s and Maternity Homes
  • conscience protections for medical professionals, and;
  • pro-life protective language for any life sciences funding or economic development legislation.

We are also watching the movement of other possible legislation that could have life and death consequences, such as:  expansion of Medicaid without pro-life protections, end-of-life and quality of life issues and taking away health care decision-making from the patient.

Being pro-life is not just about abortion any more.  With the changes in medical research and the passage of Obamacare, being pro-life means protecting innocent human lives on the issues of abortion, human life sciences research, human cloning and end-of-life decisions.

In 2006, Missouri citizens were mislead into voting to change the Missouri Constitution to include a right to engage in human cloning and human embryonic stem cell research.  The ballot language was written to appear that Missouri voters were voting to ban human cloning.  While Missouri Right to Life supports ethical research using adult stem cells and other non-embryonic, non-lethal stem cell research, we stand opposed to life-destroying research and SCNT (see below).  We oppose taxpayer funding and any tax incentives that open the door for this open-ended research with no pro-life protections.  Until this travesty in the Missouri Constitution can be corrected, we must work to protect life as much as possible within the confines of the law.

A 2009 court decision allows the legislature to add protective language to legislation regarding life science research.  As we have in the past, we will continue to request the following language in any legislation, appropriation or budget to prevent taxpayer funding or other incentives for unethical research:

“Public funds shall not be expended, paid, or granted to or on behalf of an existing or proposed research project that involves abortion services, human cloning, or prohibited human research as defined in RSMo Section 196.1127.”

Key facts to know about human embryonic stem cell research and human cloning are listed below.  This is a topic that can be very intimidating, and we urge you to familiarize yourself with the basic information on this issue.  In a nutshell, you should know that:

  • Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT) is the scientific term for cloning.
  • Human embryonic stem cells (HESC’s) are obtained by destroying an embryo.
  • Adult stem cells (ASC’s) are derived from non-lethal sources like tooth pulp, nasal tissue and body fat with no ethical problems, and are responsible for every successful human stem cell treatment.
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (IPSC’s) have the same pluripotency of HESC’s, and are derived from manipulating ASC’s, and are not involved in destruction of a human embryo.
  • Scientists have been able to coax adult stem cells into greater specificity, i.e., using an adult stem cell to create a blood cell, or a bone cell, or a muscle cell.

You will find information on this in the MRL folder.  We’d be happy to provide any additional information you would like and will keep you updated on relevant new developments in this area.  We will work with you to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

As a pro-life legislator, your pro-life votes are very important to our members and your constituents.  They look at your voting record to determine if you are implementing pro-life policies and legislation with your votes.  We want to work with you in every way possible to assure a pro-life voting record.

Susan Klein is the lobbyist for Missouri Right to Life.  Susan has many years of experience working with the legislature on pro-life issues.  She will be the first person for you to contact if you have any questions about MRL’s position on any legislation.  Susan’s cell phone number is 573.230.4193.

When MRL takes a position on a piece of legislation, Susan will testify at relevant hearings, contact legislators, and have memos distributed explaining our position.  We will continue distributing our memos electronically and will text message those legislators who wish to be contacted in this way.  Please fill out/update and return the enclosed information sheet if you are interested.  You can also see legislative information on our website at www.missourilife.org

We look forward to working with you this year!

Yours for Life!

Steve Rupp
President

 

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