Missouri House Committee Approves Bill Preempting Abortion Sanctuary Cities

This week, the Missouri House Children and Families Committee voted 7-3 “Do Pass” HB 174, sponsored by Rep. Tila Hubrecht (R-Dexter), that would prevent local municipalities from passing ordinances forcing local citizens to participate, directly or indirectly, in abortion.

HB 174 was filed earlier in the legislative session to protect pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes from onerous local laws requiring pro-life agencies to refer patients for abortion, or offer counseling on abortion, among other things.

However, when the City of St. Louis Board of Aldermen passed local ordinance BB 203, which purports to make St. Louis an “abortion sanctuary” by prohibiting discrimination based upon a person’s “reproductive health decisions,” including abortion, HB 174 was amended. As amended, HB 174 would outlaw any local ordinance that requires employers or landlords to hire persons that wish to promote abortion, provide insurance coverage for abortion, or to lease space to an abortion clinic, or anyone associated with the abortion industry.

HB 174 now moves to the whole Missouri House for consideration. The Missouri Catholic Conference will be following and reporting on the developing story in the weeks to come; you can check for the latest updates on our website. Stay tuned!