Camille Respess | June 30, 2017
On February 10, St. Louis passed an addition protecting reproductive health decisions to the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance with a 17-10 vote.
The ordinance, which was sponsored by 15th Ward Alderwoman Megan Green, prevents employers and landowners in St. Louis from discriminating against women based on their reproductive choices.
Simply put, the ordinance bans discrimination of women who are pregnant, who have had abortions, or use contraceptives such as birth control.
The debate over women’s reproductive rights is certainly not new, and religious beliefs often contribute to perspectives on these issues.
And this ordinance certainly has faced its critics.
The Lutheran Church Missouri – Synod, and Archdiocese of St. Louis are among many organizations who oppose the ordinance, citing how it forces individuals to go against their beliefs.
In just months after this ordinance was passed in St. Louis, lawmakers in Jefferson City have gone to work to strip it down.
On June 12, Gov. Eric Greitens called for a special session, causing Missouri lawmakers to return to the Capitol in attempts of both removing St. Louis’ new ordinance, and imposing greater abortion restrictions.
The next day the Missouri Senate’s Seniors, Families and Children Committee endorsed a plan to overturn the St. Louis ordinance. Two days later, Senate Bill 5 was passed.
In mid-June the Missouri House added their opinions to the future of the St. Louis ordinance, and abortions in the state as well.
Although the House’s version of the bill is considered stricter than the Senate’s, both share the same goal of preempting the St. Louis ordinance.
An official bill has yet to make it to Greiten’s desk.
Lawmakers are expected to return to Jefferson City in mid-July to alter and argue the bill.
At our practice, we specialize in both employment and housing law. If you believe you have been discriminated against in the workplace or in housing, contact our experienced attorneys.
The future of this ordinance and the protection of women based on their reproductive decisions in St. Louis, and Missouri, at this time is uncertain.