by Steven Ertelt
November 8, 2007
Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — The governor of Missouri has appointed the members of the panel that will examine the myriad of ways abortion hurts women by causing either medical, mental health or other problems. The Governor’s Task Force on the Impact of Abortion on Women features a wealth of pro-life leaders and advocates.
Last month, Gov. Matt Blunt talked about the mission of the panel.
"This is a very informal group of good people who believe in advancing the cause of life and believe that we should minimize the impact of abortion on society," he said.
Blunt spokeswoman Jessica Robinson said John McCastle, the head of the Alliance for Life Missouri came up with the idea of the group. She told the Columbia Tribune newspaper that he and Cindy Province, an executive board member of the Center for Bioethics and Culture Missouri, assembled the list of members with the governor’s staff.
None of the members include representatives of Missouri Right to Life or the Missouri Catholic Conference, two groups which have fought with Blunt of the issue of stem cell research.
Blunt was a big supporter of the ballot amendment advocating embryonic stem cell research and human cloning — two practices pro-life groups strongly oppose.
But Pam Fichter, president of Missouri Right to Life, told the Tribune that her group has been invited to join the panel and will do so.
"We did receive an invitation to join their task force," Fichter said. "We haven’t been to our first meeting yet, but that is coming up and we will be happy to participate."
The panel doesn’t include any officials from pro-abortion groups or the abortion industry, because, as Blunt said, abortion is harmful and there’s little debate that it kills children and hurts women.
"I certainly would begin with the presumption that abortion has a negative impact on Missouri children, Missouri women, and Missouri men, because it’s harmful to society," Blunt said.
That led Peter Brownlie, president of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, to tell the Associated Press "My first reaction is that I doubt this governor is particularly interested in an objective overview of the impact of abortion."
The members of the new abortion committee include:
Connie Eller – President, Blacks for Life
Dr. Carolyn Martin – OBGYN, St. Luke’s Hospital
Victoria Childs – Director, Open Arms Pregnancy Resource Center
Julia Myers – Director, Pregnancy Help Center
Joe Dalton – Director, Pregnancy Resource Center of Rolla
Barbara Quigley – Executive Director, St. Louis Center for Bioethics and Culture
Delbert L. Scott – Senator, 28th District
Belinda Harris – State Rep 110th District
Kerry Messer- Founder and President of Missouri Family Network
Nancy Valko- Missouri Nurses for Life, President
Mary Chrismer- Vitae Caring Foundation
John McCastle- Missouri Alliance for Life Action Committee
Cindy Province- Center for Bioethics and Culture- Missouri, Executive Board