On Tuesday, the Missouri Senate took up and debated SB 749, a bill that would place in state law a prohibition on government forcing employers to pay for health plans that include contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion drugs.
Sen. Jolie Justus (D-Kansas City) took most of the floor time in raising concerns about the bill, which is sponsored by Sen. John Lamping (R-Clayton). Sen. Justus said she did not see the issue as one involving a threat to religious liberty. She said the bill would deny women access to free contraceptives.
After about two hours of debate the bill was laid over. The senate is expected to resume debate on SB 749 next week. The opposition to the legislation is not surprising. Although rescinding the recent mandate by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will ultimately require passage of a new federal law, its supporters fear strong public expressions of opposition and certainly do not want new state laws passed that assert religious liberty and oppose federal trampling on this fundamental right.
It will be more difficult to pass SB 749 than HCR 41 because the former would create a new state law while the latter simply expresses the sentiment of the Missouri General Assembly.
Read the article about HCR 41 here.