Governor Jay Nixon has vetoed a bill that would have exempted religious organizations from covering contraception under their health insurance plans, if that coverage would go against the organizations' beliefs. Nixon said in his remarks that existing law adequately protects religious liberties.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon now has received more than 10,000 messages urging him to sign or veto legislation related to health insurance coverage for contraception.
Nixon has scheduled a Thursday news conference to announce his action on legislation. That comes a couple days ahead of a Saturday deadline for him to sign, veto or allow bills to become law without his signature.
Around 200 people rallied at the Missouri Capitol today against President Obama’s mandate that employers provide coverage for contraceptive services.
Churches are exempt from the mandate, but religious non-profit organizations, such as schools and hospitals, are not. John Gaydos is bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City.
“Religious freedom is not merely about our ability to attend church on Sunday," Gaydos said. "It is impossible to exercise that religious freedom and at the same time compromise the faith that inspires us to action.”
Debate continues in the Missouri legislature over the Obama administration's "contraception mandate," which will require health insurance to include coverage for birth control. In this week's Health & Wealth update, a House committee hears testimony on a largely symbolic bill, opposing the mandate.
The Missouri House has reignited intense debate over women’s reproductive rights, passing legislation that would exempt doctors and other health care workers from performing medical procedures that violate their religious beliefs.