Despite strong opposition from pro-lifers, the St. Louis aldermen voted Friday to make their city a “sanctuary” for abortion.
The Missouri city’s Board of Aldermen passed the measure in a 17-10 vote and sent it to Mayor Francis Slay for approval, the St. Louis Review reports.
Board Bill 203 supposedly would protect people from discrimination based on their reproductive health decisions. However, it would force religious organizations and individuals to support abortion and abortion advocacy, according to Missouri Right to Life. It could force landlords to rent property to abortion providers or abortion advocacy groups, and punish employers (including religious organizations) that refuse to hire someone who publicly supports abortion, according to the pro-life group.
“BB 203 attempts to force churches and others to be complicit in the profound evil of abortion,” Missouri Right to Life continued.
After the vote on Friday, Catholic Archbishop of St. Louis Robert J. Carlson spoke out strongly against the bill, slamming it as “vile” and “misguided.” He said the archdiocese and its agencies will not comply if it becomes law.
“I am outraged that the City of St. Louis Board of Aldermen has now enshrined into law an ordinance which creates a ‘sanctuary’ for the despicable practice of abortion,” Carlson said in a statement. “In other words, the laws of the City of St. Louis now actively protect and promote the killing of unborn children.”
“The passage of this bill is not a milestone of our city’s success. It is, rather, a marker of our city’s embrace of the culture of death,” he continued.
Archdiocese lawyer Tom Buckley also previously told the city that the bill violates the U.S. Constitution, and the archdiocese will sue if it becomes law.
Follow LifeNews.com on Instagram to help us share pro-life pictures.
Here’s more from the report:
Board Bill 203 provides an limited exemption for religious institutions to portions of the bill but doesn’t provide protection for individual business owners who object due to religious reasons. The bill could bring fines against lessors and others who don’t want to be associated with the abortion industry, according to opponents.
After the vote, Alderwoman Carol Howard (D-14th Ward), who cited her Catholic faith, said the bill created discord among its constituencies at a time when unity is needed to tackle other problems. “We need to come together rather than create divisiveness,” she said.
Several other aldermen who voted against the bill said people in their wards contacted them urging that they oppose the measure.
In December, LifeNews reported the Missouri affiliate of NARAL is backing the measure. NARAL is a radical abortion group that supports abortion for any reason through all nine months of pregnancy and fights against parental involvement requirements for minors, informed consent, and pregnancy centers that offer women alternatives to abortion.
St. Louis Alderman Megan-Ellyia Green, a Democrat from the 15th Ward, announced plans to introduce pro-abortion “sanctuary city” ordinances in December.
“We are a board of people who are very aware of the challenges for women that are being brought forth at both the state and national level. And so it’s up to us at the local level to really ensure that women’s rights are protected,” Green said.
Alderman Christine Ingrassia, a Democrat from the 6th Ward, also backs the measure.
ACTION: Contact Mayor Francis Slay at (314) 622-3201, or send a message here.