Missouri Women Could Soon Be Disqualified From Jobs Based On Reproductive Decisions
Lawmakers in the Missouri Senate spent more than 10 hours in a closed-door special session last week to push through Senate Bill 5, a wide-reaching anti-abortion measure that—among other things—would roll back anti-discrimination protections for women in one of that state’s major cities.
The legislation would undo a relatively recent St. Louis ordinance that prohibits potential employers and landlords from discriminating against women based on their reproductive health history. In other words, if they’ve had an abortion. Or have used birth control. Or if they are pregnant.
When the ordinance first passed last February, supporters hailed it as necessary protection for women living in a deep-red state that is considered to be “hostile” to abortion rights. Unsurprisingly, it also drew sharp criticism from several local religious groups and leaders who lamented its passage as a “terrible moment” for the city of St. Louis. In May, the St. Louis Archdiocese and several other organizations filed suit against the city of St. Louis, seeking to overturn the ordinance
Now, just months later, anti-abortion legislators in the state appear poised to topple the ordinance. The bill—which also includes other anti-abortion measures that would affect women statewide—passed the Senate late last Wednesday and is now being heard in the House Children and Families Committee. The Kansas City Star reports that it could be passed without changes and sent to the governor directly, or undergo revisions that would require the House and Senate to negotiate the differences in a special conference.
NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri—the reproductive rights advocacy group, which fought for the anti-discrimination ordinance to be passed last winter—quickly announced it was launching an online and radio ad campaign criticizing Republican Gov. Eric Greitens who called the special session. (”Do you […]