A board bill intended to make the City of St. Louis an abortion sanctuary continues to move forward, despite opposition from the Archdiocese of St. Louis and other pro-life organizations. BB 203 is on the calendar for consideration by the entire St. Louis City Board of Aldermen, and is poised for consideration before the Board adjourns on February 10.
City Aldermen did include language in the bill to make it clear that religious organizations would be permitted to refuse to include reproductive health care services like abortifacient drugs or abortion in their health plans, and can refuse to allow abortions to be performed on property they own or lease. The language of the bill, however, does not provide such relief to private employers and landlords, and would permit employees of religious organizations to sue if they are fired for publically promoting a pro-choice, pro-contraception agenda.
The threat of the passage of BB 203 has Missouri state legislators considering legislation to pre-empt the St. Louis ordinance and prevent the spread of the idea to other cities in Missouri. If a bill like BB 203 were to pass in Columbia, MO, for example, the University of Missouri could be sued if it refused to grant clinical privileges to an abortion doctor. The MCC was involved in a campaign to encourage the University to withhold such privileges to an abortionist that was seeking privileges so that she could perform abortions at Planned Parenthood in Columbia. Stay tuned on this evolving story.