The Value of Life
“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” – Moses
Since the deadly Roe v. Wade Supreme Court opinion of 1973, nearly 58 million babies have been mechanically or chemically killed in the womb. Most Missourians take life seriously and believe it their duty to defend these most vulnerable human beings – an obligation growing out of their acknowledgement of the sanctity of innocent human life. There is also that sense of personal responsibility to counsel or assist mothers who find themselves in a desperate situation without the resources and education they feel they need. There is that deeply held understanding that every life is priceless intrinsically, not just because of its utility.
On the heels of a successful legislative override of a pro-life bill requiring a 72-hour waiting period last September, this session continued with an emphasis on life. There was the creation of a more reliable funding source for those laboring to reduce the number of abortions in Missouri and to provide for women who find themselves in desperate circumstances.
In April, the Legislature passed a budget that secured funding for services for pregnant women at risk for abortion, as well as $2.6 million to fully fund the Missouri Alternatives to Abortion Program. Those funds will help support the state’s maternity homes and pregnancy resource centers. There was also additional funding for Show-Me-Healthy Babies, a program that ensures low-income unborn children receive adequate health care through the state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. Until societal norms return to the conviction that individuals and families are better caregivers than governments, these programs may help prevent aborted children by clarifying to expectant mothers that they do not face life alone.
As part of the General Assembly’s efforts to reform welfare this past session, we added a provision that will guarantee about $4.34 million in Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) funds to promote healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood. The bill was originally vetoed by the governor, but the Legislature overrode his veto in early May. Many of those provisions will take effect next year, making Missouri one of the states with the largest funding commitments to abortion alternatives. Senator David Sater, R-Cassville, and his staff deserve much of the credit for this advance in pro-life funding.
According to the Department of Health and Senior Services, from 2009 – 2013 abortion rates in Missouri have continued to decrease. There have been significant increases in the number of maternity homes and pregnancy resource centers in the Show-Me State as well, and no new abortion facilities have surfaced. Missouri has one of the lowest abortion rates in the nation.
Thank you for reading this legislative report. You can contact my office at (573) 751-2108 if you have any questions. Thank you and we welcome your prayers for the proper application of state government.