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Live Action News: For years, the Planned Parenthood at 11902 Blue Ridge Blvd. in Grandview, MO, shared a wall with pregnancy resource center, Women’s Clinic of Kansas City. On Sunday, the Women’s Clinic became the only one with an active business, when the Grandview, MO, Planned Parenthood quietly shuttered for good.
National Right to Life: The preliminary number of abortions in 2013 has finally been released by the Missouri Dept. of Health. The total numbers of abortions in 2013 was 8,740. This is a decline of 287 abortions, or over a 3% drop, in one year. This continues a trend that has been going on almost steadily since 1980 thanks to pro-life activists!
Life News: Who is your insurance with? If it’s with Aetna, you may very well have had your insurance premiums paying for someone else’s abortions.
Missouri House passes, Senate fails to pass Women’s Protection Act requiring annual inspection of abortion facilities
National Right to Life: Missouri Right to Life (MRL) is profoundly disappointed that the Missouri Senate has failed to approve an important public safety measure to ensure the annual inspection of abortion facilities.
The College Fix: Unlike the iconic Las Vegas advertising slogan, “What happens here, stays here,” history is revealing that the hypersensitivity to political correctness, tolerance, and hurt feelings on college campuses is affecting society as a whole. And the news isn’t good.
Religion Clause: On Friday, after submitting a demand letter, a member of the Satanic Temple filed a lawsuit in state court in Missouri challenging as a violation of Missouri’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act the state’s waiting period and informed consent requirements imposed before a woman may obtain an abortion.
ABC2News (AP): Calvin Morrow, one of the leaders of a Christian group which supported repeal, says local “churches were startled and alarmed” and got involved in the campaign. The Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal group, said at least one Springfield pastor had urged his congregation to vote to repeal the ordinance.
Christian Examiner: “Pastors and churches shouldn’t live in fear of being punished or penalized by the government when they express fundamental tenets of their faith,” wrote ADF Litigation Counsel Christiana Holcomb. “They are free to talk about important social and cultural issues without fear of having their tax-exempt status revoked. Anyone who claims otherwise simply doesn’t understand the law.”
The New York Times: After a successful vote by the City Council here in October to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of categories protected from discrimination in the city, one supporter, David Trippe, thought this Bible Belt city might have turned a page. On Tuesday, after a nearly five-month campaign by Christian conservatives, voters in this southwest Missouri city narrowly approved a measure to repeal the ordinance.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom has sent Missouri pastors a letter to debunk critics who have wrongly asserted that churches can lose their tax-exempt status if they urge their congregations to vote in favor of repealing a city law.
Missouri Family Policy Council: A Missouri law designed to protect church worship services from disruption by protest groups has been struck down by a federal appeals court. A three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the House of Worship Protection Act violates the freedom of speech guarantees of the First Amendment.
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Jim Campbell: “The people of Nebraska, Alabama, and every state should remain free to affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman in their laws. The courts should respect the freedom of the people to debate this important issue and decide it as a community. The Constitution does not demand that one irreversible view of marriage be forced on all the states.”
The Global Dispatch: “The people of Missouri – like the people of every state – should be free to affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman in their laws,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jim Campbell. “As the U.S. Supreme Court concluded in itsWindsor decision last year, marriage law is the business of the states. Federal courts should not reinterpret the Constitution to prevent the states from affirming marriage as it has existed in their states since the time of their founding.”
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit Tuesday that encourages the court to uphold the freedom of the people of Missouri to affirm marriage as the union of one man and one woman. In November 2014, a district court ruled that the state’s marriage laws are unconstitutional and that marriage licenses must be issued to same-sex couples.
The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission: The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention submitted an amicus brief today to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals arguing that marriage between a man and a woman is vital to the welfare of children, families and society.
Life News: Since 2004, Planned Parenthood of Missouri has only had a handful of health inspections by government officials. The inspections found filthy conditions including rusty surgical tables, suction abortion machines, IV stands, and other equipment and “copious amounts of dust” everywhere. Other violations included poor or non-existent infection control protocols and expired, improperly handed drugs.
Ozarks First: A Missouri lawmaker aims to protect religious freedom on college campuses.
One News Now: Attorney Erik Stanley of Alliance Defending Freedom says ADF has discovered the state had approved other church-run centers on 15 other occasions.
ADF to court: Mo. can’t arbitrarily choose which Christian pre-school qualifies for scrap tire program
ADF Media: An Alliance Defending Freedom attorney and allied attorney representing a Columbia, Missouri, Christian pre-school and daycare center will be available for media interviews Thursday following oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit.
Christian News Network: A middle school student is Missouri states that he was told by one of his teachers last month that he wasn’t allowed to read his Bible during free class time.
Fox4KC: The parents of a middle school student are upset because they say a teacher told their 12-year-old son he couldn’t read his favorite book in school, his Bible. The parents say their son’s fundamental rights were violated.
Ozarks First (Missourinet): Republican leaders in the Missouri legislature are seeking to appeal the ruling of a circuit judge in Kansas City that would require the state to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.
The Washington Times (AP): Missouri’s Republican legislative leaders are seeking to appeal a court ruling requiring officials to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.
The Washington Times (AP): A man who married another man in Iowa is asking Missouri to grant the couple a divorce, even though the state does not recognize same-sex marriages.
Kansas Health Institute (Heartland Health Monitor): “It’s always great when you can score a win for religious liberty, especially when you have an attempt to force these owners of companies that have sincere religious convictions to violate those convictions under threat of severe penalties,” said Kevin H. Theriot, an attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom who represented Randy Reed and Sioux Chief.
Life Site News: “It’s always great when you can score a win for religious liberty, especially when you have an attempt to force these owners of companies that have sincere religious convictions to violate those convictions under threat of severe penalties,” said Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Kevin H. Theriot, who represented the businesses.
Missouri Family Policy Council e-mail: Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones has demanded that Attorney General Chris Koster take action to defend Missouri’s marriage laws in court, or legislators may take it into their own hands to see that Missouri’s Constitution is defended.
The Washington Times (AP): Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones says lawmakers may take matters into their own hands in an attempt to defend the state’s marriage amendment.
The Washington Times (AP): An assistant Missouri attorney general argued Monday in a St. Louis courtroom that state law, backed by a vote of the people, makes it clear that marriage is defined as between a man and a woman.
Religion Clause: Earlier this month in a per curiam two-paragraph order, the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, invoking the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, reversed a Missouri federal district court’s dismissal of a RFRA claim by a for-profit company that objected to the contraceptive coverage mandate.
Associated Press: Missouri women seeking abortions will face one of the nation’s longest waiting periods, after state lawmakers overrode the governor’s veto to enact a 72-hour delay that includes no exception for cases of rape or incest.
Reuters: Missouri lawmakers on Wednesday passed a law requiring women to wait three days for an abortion, even in cases of rape or incest, according to the legislature’s websites – overriding an earlier veto from Governor Jay Nixon.
The Washington Times (AP): Abortion opponents confidently prayed for success Wednesday at the Missouri Capitol as lawmakers convened to try to override a veto of one of the nation’s longest abortion-waiting periods.
CBN: Catholic Missouri lawmaker Paul Wieland is continuing the fight against Obamacare’s birth control mandate.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: A family should have the same right as a small business to opt out of birth control coverage in its health care plan, the lawyer for a Missouri legislator argued Monday before a federal appeals court.
8th Circuit hears oral arguments in individuals’ religious challenge to contraceptive coverage mandate
Religion Clause: The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday heard oral arguments (recording of full arguments) in Wieland v. Department of Health and Human Services. In the case, a Missouri federal district court denied a temporary restraining order to a Missouri state employee and his wife who claim that the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage mandate forces them to violate their religious opposition to contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients by requiring their group health insurance policy to make these services available to their daughters who are covered by the policy.
USA Today: The Republican-run Missouri Legislature is poised to override the Democratic governor’s veto of legislation to make all women wait three days to have an abortion, including victims of rape or incest.
The Washington Times (AP): A Missouri lawmaker fighting required birth control coverage in his state-sponsored insurance plan is relying on the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby ruling as he contests a lower court’s rejection of his legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act mandate.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: The termination of a same-sex couple at Cor Jesu, the all-girls Catholic high school in the Affton area, has prompted an outcry from alumnae.
Religious Freedom Coalition: The American Humanist Association has threatened the Missouri National Guard with a lawsuit for its practice of making Gideon Bibles available to its new recruits.
The Christian Post: Despite the fact that military service members have recently been permitted to march in gay pride parades, the Department of Defense prohibited members of the Missouri National Guard from attending a one-hour meet-and-greet with children at a vacation Bible camp held a small Baptist church in the rural southwest corner of the state in late July.
One News Now: Eric Stanley of ADF calls it “very far-fetched” that the ACLU suggests giving tires to a church preschool promotes religion. – See more at: http://www.onenewsnow.com/legal-courts/2014/08/01/aclu-sides-with-mo-over-denying-daycare-application#.U9wG9PldWOA
Life Site News: That change in emergency protocols is likely due to a lawsuit filed against the St. Louis Fire Department in May by the Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of an Operation Rescue staff member. Operation Rescue sued to obtain public information that was over-zealously redacted from 911 records it had received through the Freedom of Information Act.
Life News: That change in emergency protocols is likely due to a lawsuit filed against the St. Louis Fire Department in May by the Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of an Operation Rescue staff member. Operation Rescue sued to obtain public information that was over-zealously redacted from 911 records it had received through the Freedom of Information Act.
The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod: “It’s important to know that you’re not alone.” That’s Eric Teetsel’s message to Christians and specifically to LCMS Lutherans.
The Washington Times: Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said Thursday that he personally supports same-sex marriage but will defend state marriage laws after St. Louis officials issued marriage licenses to four same-sex couples at a City Hall ceremony.
National Right to Life News: In a not unexpected move, Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri announced today it plans to close its financially failing Hays facility that no longer qualifies for family planning funds distributed by the Kansas health department.
Christian Post: Democratic Gov. of Missouri Jay Nixon said Thursday that he has not decided whether he’s going to sign a bill that would require a 72-hour waiting period before an abortion could be induced in his state.
Springfield News-Leader: After late-night deal-making Monday, Republican legislation extending abortion waiting periods and creating six days of early voting advanced out of the Senate.
The Washington Times: Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri has dropped its legal challenge to a Kansas law that stripped two of its Kansas clinics of federal money for family planning.
Religion Clause: “In Messer v. Nixon, (MO Cir. Ct., April 4, 2014), a Missouri state court judge refused to issue a temporary restraining order to prevent state tax officials from accepting joint returns from same-sex couples.”
Springfield News-Leader: “The House gave first-round approval Wednesday to legislation from a Springfield lawmaker that seeks to enshrine religious protections for students into state law. House Bill 1303, sponsored by Rep. Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield, prohibits school districts from discriminating against students on the basis of a religious viewpoint or expression.”
PoliticMO: “Conservative activist Kerry Messer, president of the Missouri Family Network, filed with a court seeking an immediate injunction against Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon Wednesday over an executive order allowing gay couples married in other states to file joint tax returns in the state.” | The Religion Clause blog provides helpful background information and links here.
Missourinet: “Representative Mike Colona (D-St. Louis) has filed HJR 85, a proposed constitutional amendment that would ask voters to add language saying that a marriage may exist between a man and a woman and a same-sex couple.”
Associated Press: “The House passed the measure 112-36 on March 13 before the Legislature began a weeklong break. The amendment states that parents have a right to make decisions involving the discipline, education, religious instruction, medical care, housing and ‘general well-being’ of their children.”
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “Chase Martinson, 20, of Jefferson County, spent his first two years at Hannibal-LaGrange University, which has about 1,200 students. He temporarily withdrew in October due to illness but hoped to return this fall.”
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “University of Missouri law professor Joshua Hawley is part of the legal team representing Hobby Lobby that is scheduled to argue its case before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. . . . Hawley said the new group, the Missouri Liberty Project, will focus on raising awareness about religious liberty and constitutional rights issues. He filed the registration paperwork Thursday with the Missouri secretary of state’s office.”
Religion Clause: “In Phelps-Roper v. Koster, (WD MO, March 10, 2014), a Missouri federal district court rejected a vagueness challenge to a Missouri statute that bans: ‘picketing or other protest activities within three hundred feet of or about any location at which a funeral is held, within one hour prior to the commencement of any funeral, and until one hour following the cessation of any funeral.’”
Casey Mattox: Missouri down to just one abortion business after Planned Parenthood closes | LifeNews
Casey Mattox at LifeNews: “In Missouri, Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys Steven Aden and Dale Schowengerdt successfully defended the state’s health and safety regulations of abortion clinics in two challenges in state and federal court. Our friends at 40 Days for Life and others continued to bear witness outside Missouri’s four abortion clinics.”
Associated Press: “Missouri would become the third state to make women wait three days to have an abortion after seeing a doctor under legislation passed by the state House on Tuesday.”
OneNewsNow: “‘We think clearly what the state is doing here is discriminating against churches, because they will not allow this daycare to participate in the recycled tire program simply because it’s connected to a church,’ [Joel Oster] offers. ‘If it were not connected to a church, it’s unquestioned they would be entitled to participate. So this is blatant discrimination.’”
Columbia Daily Tribune: “‘Even under the Missouri Constitution, it says there should not be any discrimination solely because of a church’s religious faith,’ and ‘kit . . . violates the U.S. Constitution because it shows a hostility toward religion, and the state is mandated to remain neutral toward religion,’ said Erik Stanley, an attorney for the Alliance Defending Freedom, or ADF.”
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit Tuesday in a federal lawsuit filed against Missouri officials on behalf of a Columbia Christian pre-school and daycare center.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “Women would have to wait 72 hours after getting an ultrasound and receiving state-mandated information before getting an abortion under a bill approved by a House committee.”
AP: “An abortion facility in Missouri would need to be inspected at least four times each year under legislation proposed in the state House.” | More information on HB 1478 is available from Missouri Right to Life.
KSDK: “Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones plans to file legislation that would let health care workers refuse to participate in procedures that violate their ethical or religious beliefs.”
ConnectMidMissouri.com: Fayette Superintendent Tamara Kimball says district administrators haven’t considered ending the Friday morning sessions since the American Humanist Association filed a complaint in November. She says the district doesn’t believe it has done anything wrong by allowing the Fellowship of Christian Students to conduct the sessions.
CBS St. Louis: Women seeking an abortion in Missouri would need to wait an additional two days under legislation proposed in the state Senate.
Brian Westbrook was arrested by Saint Louis Metropolitan Police and charged with deceptive business practice on July 12, 2013, for displaying a sign offering “Free Pregnancy Test & Ultrasound” and directing women considering abortions to a mobile ultrasound unit across the street.