Friday, June 23, 2017

Missouri Votes to Let Employers Fire People Who Use Birth Control

Missouri Votes to Let Employers Fire People Who Use Birth Control

Yesterday, the Missouri House voted to pass SB 5, a bill imposing several highly burdensome and even more unnecessary restrictions on abortion providers; for example, the bill would require abortion providers to send fetal tissue samples to a pathologist within five days. While supporters of targeted restrictions of abortion providers (aka TRAP laws) claim they’re supporting women’s health, regulations like these often serve no medical purpose whatsoever. In reality, anti-choice legislators use them as a pretext to impose costs and red tape on abortion clinics, forcing them to close.

But SB 5 has another insidious purpose: to overturn a St. Louis ordinance that bans employers and landlords from discriminating against people on the basis of their reproductive health decisions. In other words, if SB 5 is passed, you could be evicted in the state of Missouri for having an abortion, using birth control, or becoming pregnant while unmarried.

This extremely common-sense city ordinance, which St. Louis passed this spring, was apparently Too Far for Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, who took to the press to complain about “radical politicians” making “St. Louis an abortion sanctuary city.” Ah, yes, the radical idea that an adult woman should be able to plan when, and whether, to have kids without risking her job or home. Greitens called state legislators back to the Capitol this summer specifically to overturn the St. Louis law, and to respond to the fact that Missouri’s last attempt to shut down abortion clinics ended up getting shut down by a federal judge.
The result of that special session is SB 5, which the Missouri Senate passed last Wednesday after 10 hours of negotiations behind closed doors. The House passed an amended, even more anti-choice version late yesterday.

That’s right. Missouri lawmakers are going out of their way to say that if an employer has a problem with you taking the pill, he can fire you – and he’ll have a seal of approval from the state of Missouri.

  




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