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Victory for religious liberty in Missouri legislature

Catholic World News - September 14, 2012

The Missouri legislature has overridden Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of SB 749, a bill that “provides protection for religious beliefs as to the imposition of certain health care services such as abortion, contraception, or sterilization.”

“No employee, self-employed person, or any other person shall be compelled to obtain coverage for, or be discriminated against or penalized for declining or refusing coverage for, abortion, contraception, or sterilization in a health plan if such items or procedures are contrary to the religious beliefs or moral convictions of such employee or person,” the bill’s text continues.

“No such employee, self-employed person, employer, health plan provider, health plan sponsor, health care provider, or any other person or entity shall be discriminated against by any governmental entity, public official, or entity acting in a governmental capacity for failing to obtain or provide coverage for, pay for, participate in, or refer for such coverage because of such religious beliefs or moral convictions.” adds the bill.

Welcoming the passage of the bill, the St. Louis archdiocesan newspaper commented:

the Missouri Catholic Conference noted that federal law supersedes state law. However, federal courts may rule that this law is in violation of the U.S. Constitution. If this occurs, the new Missouri law will stand and be an explicit affirmation of protecting religious liberty.

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