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Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness

Ed EmeryThe following is text of Missouri State Representative Ed Emery‘s (dist. 126) recent Capitol Report:

Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness

“The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits.” — Thomas Jefferson

Life is the most fundamental of our unalienable rights. Everything starts with life. Life and death present the epitome of absolutes and are the bane of moral relativism. When politicians decided that a government could rule that some innocent lives are unnecessary, the world changed in America. An issue never before debated entered the public square – the right of one person to take that of another without appeal.

A strong majority of your Missouri legislature still believes it is the duty of government to protect life, not destroy it, and a strong pro-life bill was passed this year by your Missouri House of Representatives. The life-honoring bill addressed a root cause of abortion – coercion of the mother. Did you know that sixty-four percent of all women who obtain abortions later say that they didn’t want one? They were threatened, misinformed, or uninformed about their other options. These are women, while in a crisis and under extreme duress, are pressured to make an irreversible decision – one that frequently causes deep regrets later. HCS HB 46 & 434 would have made coercion illegal in Missouri.

The bill easily passed the House with broad support, and given the composition of the Missouri Senate, it should have passed the Senate. But when the senate’s substitute bill came back to the House, it was unrecognizable. The compromises that had been made to avoid a senate filibuster had not just reduced the bill’s effectiveness; they had created language that, in the opinion of many of us, would have done more harm than good to the cause of protecting innocent life from irrational slaughter.

Harmful new provisions included loopholes around prior regulation, deletion of the anti-coercion language, and legality issues with possible devastating effects. Every effort was made to restore the most valuable elements and remove the most threatening, but to no avail. The combination of political egos and the pressure of the legislative calendar proved too great to overcome, and a good bill failed to pass. The tragedy is that the protections in the bill for women and their children are delayed another year.

Given that 11,000 abortions are done every year right here in Missouri, 7,040 more babies may suffer death because legally no-one must stand between their mothers and some selfish “boyfriend” or other assassin. We failed legislatively, but do not despair. Every debate helps to clarify for someone the issue of protecting innocent life. We have not failed until we give up, and on protecting life we cannot – we will not give up. Too many lives are at stake.

You may telephone me toll-free at (866) 410-8822. You may also email me at ed.emery@house.mo.gov . If you would like to receive the weekly Capitol Report by email, please send me your email address. Thank you for your interest in good government and a promising future in Missouri.

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