The Missouri Legislature passed a law that allowed for religious and moral exemptions to covering contraception in health insurance policies. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon vetoed it.
Today the Missouri Legislature overrode Nixon’s veto. Elizabeth Crisp of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported:
The override attempt – the only one the lawmakers pursued in their annual veto session today –squeaked by the House in a 109-45 vote this afternoon.
The override had to have 109 votes to pass the chamber, which approved the bill in a vote of 105-33 in May. The override passed the Senate in a 26-6 vote earlier today.
The contraception bill was pushed in response to a new federal mandate that requires religiously affiliated institutions, including universities and hospitals, offer birth control coverage in employee health plans.
Supporters of the bill and today’s veto override argued that it would protect religious freedom.
Sen. John Lamping, a Republican from Ladue who sponsored the original bill, said businesses and organizations could decide to drop health care coverage for employees to avoid the federal contraception coverage mandate.
“Employers are not mandated to offer health care coverage,” he said. “We’re seeing this happen.”
Opponents argued that the bill is not necessary and could spur lawsuits against the state because it conflicts with federal law.
We need to see more State Legislatures push back against the Federal government on this.