|St. Louis Archbishop Robert J. Carlson is calling on the city’s Board of Aldermen to defeat a proposed ordinance that seeks to make St. Louis a sanctuary city for abortion.
In a statement issued this week, Archbishop Carlson said that rather than create a sanctuary for abortion, “St. Louis should be a sanctuary for life and compassion, especially for mothers and their developing children.”
The proposed ordinance, Board Bill 203, is vague and ambiguous but could have disturbing consequences for religious institutions. Catholic schools and Catholic Charities agencies could be fined by the city for not employing persons who promote practices such as abortion. The ordinance may also require Catholic employers to offer insurance coverage for abortion.
The proposed ordinance could also affect commercial property owners, forcing them to rent to abortion clinics or face fines. Archbishop Carlson said that passage of the ordinance would “force the people of St. Louis to be complicit in the profound evil of abortion. This would be a flagrant violation of religious liberty and individual rights of conscience.”
The Archbishop called on all people of faith to speak up in opposition to Board Bill 203. He said that ordinances “should respect all people, including women facing unplanned pregnancies, unborn children, and people who desire to live their lives in accordance with their religious convictions.”
The Archbishop’s statement made clear the resolve of the Archdiocese of St. Louis to resist in the strongest way possible any abortion ordinance like Board Bill 203:
“As the shepherd of the faithful Catholics of this region, let me be clear that the Archdiocese of St. Louis cannot and will not comply with any ordinance like Board Bill 203 that attempts to force the Church and others to become unwilling participants in the abortion business. There is no room for compromise on such a matter. This is a matter of fundamental religious and moral beliefs. ”
Board Bill 203 has received an initial hearing but no final action on the proposed ordinance has been taken. The MCC has been assisting the Archdiocese in its opposition to Board Bill 203, including sending action alerts to MCC Network members who live in the City of St. Louis. If you live in St. Louis, you can send a message by following this link. Stay tuned for more.