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Onder Urges No Action on Nixon’s Health Department Appointment Until Conflicts of Interest Questions Are Answered

February 4th, 2009 by mopns · No Comments

Missourians United for Life press release:

Jefferson City – February 4, 2009 – Dr. Bob Onder is raising very serious concerns about Governor Jay Nixon’s appointment to Missouri’s health department and how it could result in Missouri tax dollars going to abortion providers. Dr. Onder is urging the Missouri Senate to delay a vote on Governor Nixon’s appointment of Margaret Donnelly to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services until she answers whether she would allow taxpayer dollars to go to abortion providers.

Governor Nixon has selected an extremely pro-abortion director for Missouri’s health department,” Dr. Onder said, noting that Margaret Donnelly was one of a small minority of House members to vote against pro-life bills in both the 2007 and 2008 sessions of the Missouri General Assembly.

“At this point we have no assurances that Margaret Donnelly will not attempt to give taxpayer dollars to abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood,” said Dr. Onder. “Governor Nixon, who shares Donnelly’s support of abortion, has been praised by abortion providers for making this appointment which raises very serious concerns about where Missourians’ tax dollars would go if the Senate approves his appointment. Margaret Donnelly needs to answer whether she would allow taxpayer dollars to go to abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood.”

Dr. Onder noted that in the 2007 session of the House, Margaret Donnelly voted against the Alternatives to Abortion program. He raised concerns about whether Margaret Donnelly would be capable of appropriately administering a program she opposes. The Alternatives to Abortion program offers counseling and assistance to expectant mothers who carry their unborn child to term instead of having an abortion. The program assists these mothers in caring for their dependent child or placing the child for adoption.

Governor Blunt and Missouri’s General Assembly made the Alternatives to Abortion program permanent by placing it in statute and also brought total funding for the program to $1.9 million. As director of the Department of Health and Senior Services, Margaret Donnelly would be responsible for administering the Alternatives to Abortion program.

“The Alternatives to Abortion program has been highly successful in helping hundreds of mothers each year choose life and adoption over abortion,” said Dr. Onder. “None of these funds are supposed to be expended to perform abortion or refer or coerce women to choose abortion. We are very concerned about how Margaret Donnelly would administer these funds and whether she is capable of appropriately administering the program. Until Margaret Donnelly answers these very serious questions, the Senate should take no action on her appointment.”

Dr. Bob Onder is a founding advisor for Missourians United for Life. He is a medical doctor and a former Missouri State Representative who represented St. Charles and Warren Counties. Dr. Onder has held leadership positions in several community groups and non-profits including serving on the board of Missouri Right to Life, the Catholic Medical Association and the Center for Bioethics and Culture.

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