FFRF censures Missouri anti-women legislation


The Freedom From Religion Foundation strongly denounces a piece of pending anti-choice legislation that would endanger the well-being of women across Missouri.

Senate Bill 5, introduced in the Missouri Senate on June 12, it bolted through the two legislative chambers over the past couple of weeks. The state House exacerbated the original bill, adding even harsher language, before passing it. It is now back in the Senate chamber for a final floor vote. If it passes, it will land on the governor’s desk and almost certainly become law.

SB 5 imposes several ridiculous, medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion providers under the false pretext of support for women’s health. The bill would impose financial burdens on clinics that provide abortions, with the aim of forcing them to shut down and ultimately making it more difficult for women to safely terminate an unwanted pregnancy.

The bill brazenly restricts health clinics from providing necessary medical intervention and adds penalties to existing regulations that include unscheduled inspections of women’s health clinics. SB 5 sets up targeted restrictions of abortion providers (TRAP laws) that do not support women’s health, as lawmakers deceitfully claim. Additionally, the bill limits regulations of “Crisis Pregnancy Centers,” which are misleading anti-choice clinics that distribute fallacious information to women seeking pregnancy tests and information on abortion options. Moreover, the bill grants the attorney general’s office the power to prosecute abortion providers.

As if restricting women’s access to healthcare and reproductive rights weren’t enough, SB 5 also puts Missouri women at risk of losing their jobs and homes. Arguably, the most nefarious part of the bill overturns a St. Louis ordinance passed in the spring in that bans employers and landlords from discriminating against people on the basis of their reproductive health decisions. In other words, SB 5 would allow a women to be evicted and / or fired for using birth control, becoming pregnant while unmarried or aborting a pregnancy. This sensible city ordinance was derided by Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens for its radical implication: that women should be permitted sexual and reproductive independence and privacy without risking financial security. Essentially all women who are sexually active and of a reproductive age have used some form of contraception.

All in all, SB 5 clearly seeks to govern the sexuality of women in the state by theology-based legislation that willfully ignores medical research.

“This unacceptable bill would empower Missouri employers and landlords to govern the intimate choices women make about their bodies and lives,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “It is obvious that in eyes of many in the state government, anti-scientific religious dogma comes before, and may soon hold power over, women’s rights and autonomy.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national nonprofit organization with more than 29,000 members and chapters across the country, including over 360 in Missouri. Its purpose is to protect the constitutional principle of separation between state and church.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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