Missouri state legislators today vote to override a veto pro-abortion Gov. Jay Nixon issued of a pro-life bill that protects the religious liberty rights of pro-life Missourians.
The measure, SB 749, ensures that no one is forced to pay for abortion drugs and similar items in their health insurance when it violates their religious beliefs.
Today, during the constitutionally required veto session, the required two-thirds majority of the Missouri House and well over two-thirds of the Senate voted to override Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of SB 749. With bi-partisan support in both chambers, the Senate vote was 26 to 6 and the House vote was 109 to 45.
SB 749 simply seeks to protect people and institutions of faith from being forced to provide insurance coverage for abortion or abortion causing drugs against their deeply held religious beliefs. It also places in statute the right to have Missouri’s Attorney General sue to protect Missouri’s religious institutions and business owners if the federal government mandates participation in the destruction of innocent human lives by way of forcing coverage of abortion causing drugs.
Pam Fichter, President of Missouri Right to Life, applauded the vote.
“We thank the Missouri legislators who voted to override the veto and take a stand for the protection of our religious liberties and for the innocent human lives that are at risk due to the Obama Health Care bill and the HHS mandate,” she said.
The Missouri Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the state’s bishops, strongly supported the bill, adding that it “upholds religious liberty in a very practical way. Under this bill, no one can be forced to pay for surgical abortions, abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives or sterilizations when this violates their moral or religious beliefs.”
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The Archdiocese of St. Louis released a statement on the veto override:
“Today, the Missouri General Assembly has overridden Governor Nixon’s veto of Senate Bill 749. This is a victory for Catholics, people of all faiths, and more specifically, Missouri citizens who value religious liberty. SB 749 requires insurance companies to let people know up front whether a proposed policy includes coverage for abortions or contraceptives, and it allows those with an objection on moral grounds to have insurers exclude these items from employees’ health plans. It does nothing to make contraceptives illegal, in fact, they are widely available and affordable. It does, however, assert conscience rights for Missouri citizens when those rights are in jeopardy due to the federal HHS mandate. Today’s override is a powerful pro-life statement, one that gives us hope that conscience rights will be extended to all U.S. citizens. We thank the people of Missouri for your prayers and for your tireless efforts to protect our first, most-cherished freedom.”