[UPDATE: As of this afternoon, the veto on SB 749 has been overridden and the bill will become law.]
Over the summer, the Missouri state senate passed a “conscience clause” bill which would have allowed employers to opt out of offering contraceptive co-pay coverage with their employee insurance package based on religious or moral objection. This would have had profound effects on basic healthcare coverage for employees of such institutions as Catholic hospitals and schools, of which there are plenty in Missouri. As I reported in mid-July, however, Governer Jay Nixon vetoed the bill, allowing the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate to take full effect in the state in August.
Today, the Missouri state legislature begins their session with a vote on whether to sustain or discontinue Nixon’s veto. PPMO Advocates is encouraging folks on Facebook to call their representatives, illustrating the implications of discontinuing the veto by displaying $600 worth – the cost of a years’ supply of birth control pills with co-pay – of groceries for a four-person family. As reproductive justice advocates, I am sure we understand this basic truth, but I’ll say it again: despite popular national rhetoric about “choice,” the right to “choose” is meaningless to someone who cannot afford to purchase the service or medication they prefer. This veto override is being pushed by several anti-choice legislators of Todd Akin’s ilk – they will need to achieve a two-thirds majority to override the veto.
Pearl has a bowl cut now and there’s nothing you or anyone else can say that will change that.
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