Catholics Challenge St. Louis' 'Abortion Sanctuary' Law | KBIA

Catholics Challenge St. Louis' 'Abortion Sanctuary' Law

May 23, 2017

Protesters for and against abortion gather in Columbia in September 2015.
Credit Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Some St. Louis Catholics are suing the city over an ordinance that protects women against workplace discrimination based on whether they've had an abortion, used contraceptives or are pregnant.

The federal lawsuit was filed Monday on behalf of a group of Roman Catholic grade schools; a home for pregnant women; and a private company whose owner is Catholic. It seeks to stop the city from enforcing the ordinance, which opponents say makes St. Louis a sanctuary city for abortion.

The law says no employer can fire, discipline or refuse to hire someone based on their "reproductive health decisions" including abortion, using contraceptives, using artificial insemination or getting pregnant out of wedlock. Landlords also can't refuse to rent to someone based on those criteria. St. Louis adopted the ordinance in February.