Archdiocese of St. Louis and Others Sue City Challenging Abortion “Sanctuary” Ordinance

Earlier this week, the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Our Lady’s Inn (a St. Louis maternity home), and O’Brien Industries sued the City of St. Louis over an ordinance passed earlier this year that seeks to make St. Louis an abortion “sanctuary.”  The lawsuit, filed in federal court, requests the court declare the St. Louis ordinance unconstitutional and in violation of state law.

At a press conference announcing the lawsuit, Archbishop Robert Carlson, joined by representatives of Our Lady’s Inn and O’Brien industries, stated that “The passage of this bill is not a milestone of our city’s success. It is, rather, a marker of our city’s embrace of the culture of death.” The lawsuit argues that the ordinance is overbroad and vague and would force employers not directly affiliated with the Church to include abortion in health plans offered to employees, and would require religious employers and those with a pro-life mission to hire abortion rights advocates.

The MCC continues to work with legislators in Jefferson City to pass legislation at the state level pre-empting local ordinances such as the one passed in St. Louis City. Bills with this purpose were filed and debated this past session, but failed to pass before the May 12th deadline. Read more about this story in this St. Louis Review article.