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Birth Control: Court Overturns Missouri Law Allowing Moral, Religious Coverage Exemptions

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via
Last week, we reported on a GOP proposal in Missouri that would give doctors the right not to perform procedures that go against their moral beliefs -- such as abortions.

Meanwhile, a federal judge has struck down a Republican proposal with a similar theme that became law last year; this now overturned policy allowed employers to deny coverage of birth control if it violated their religious or moral beliefs. The only problem, opponents argued, was that the state law directly contradicted President Barack Obama's health-care law.

"We had to get clarification whether to follow state law or federal law," Brent Butler of the Missouri Insurance Coalition, one of the plaintiffs, tells Daily RFT.

What are the implications of this ruling?

See also:
- Missouri Legislature Overturns Nixon's Veto on Anti-Contraception Bill
- St. Louis Archdiocese Fight Against Contraception: Mandate Lawsuit Dismissed
- Could GOP Bill Prevent Rape Victims From Accessing Emergency Contraception?

The local Planned Parenthood chapter is applauding the decision, which the groups says would ensure that women throughout the state would have access to birth control -- as Obama's health care plan mandates -- regardless of the religious beliefs of their local employers.

The decision from U.S. District Judge Audrey Fleissig, whose full version is on view below, focuses on the basic contradictions in federal and state law as the justification for overturning the policy:

Here, the federal law and regulations, with limited exceptions, provide that insurers must provide contraceptive coverage, without cost-sharing by an insured. The State law says that insurers cannot provide contraceptive coverage to any person or entity that objects to such coverage based on any moral, ethical, or religious objection. The Court is hard-pressed to see how this does not create a direct conflict for Missouri health insurers. The Court rejects Defendant's argument that the state law does not conflict with the federal law because the state law provides more coverage for contraceptives.

Butler says that the Missouri law created a real problem for insurance companies who would have to choose whether to violate state or federal law in cases where employers said that birth control coverage violated their moral or religious beliefs.

Obama cares sign.jpg
via Facebook

He points out that there are state and federal penalties for not following these respective coverage laws.

Governor Jay Nixon had vetoed Senate Bill 749 last year, but the legislature overturned the veto and the policy became law.

Continue for more details on the ruling and response from advocates.



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16 comments
JJ O'Brand
JJ O'Brand

A baby isnt asked to be made, so no abortions in cases of rape or incest, bc thats obviously her just opening her legs? Theism=disease.

Thee Lovingcup
Thee Lovingcup

What if employer thinks that STDs shouldn't be covered, or broken leg from playing sports? Where is the line drawn? This is only a "hot topic" b/c it turns people on to talk about sex

Theresa Scott-Gass
Theresa Scott-Gass

Been paying for birth control for 20 years. Husband gets snipped, covered. Sure, that makes sense.

JJ O'Brand
JJ O'Brand

Theocracies have been proven failures, although Teabilistan would have us moving down that exact same path.....

PJ Mitchell Rulo
PJ Mitchell Rulo

YES!! it should be no different than any other medication.birth control should be more affordable just like condoms are for men.the rates of abortions im sure will drop in large numbers.but there again the woman has to be willing to take the medicine as well as the man wearing a condom.Im not for abortions,period!! people need to just be more responsible for their actions ..like girls! keep the legs closed and men,keep your penis's tucked in.A baby is never asked to be made and brought into the world.be lucky and thankful your parents chosed you to live! think about it....

JJ O'Brand
JJ O'Brand

Steven you really hit the nail on the head.... They think about sex more than porn stars.....

JJ O'Brand
JJ O'Brand

HIPAA, Health Info Portablilty and Accountabilty Act, unless we believe in skydaddy, then its our business, and obviously god trumps fed law..... Thats straight sarcasm for the mouth breathers....

Mike Feller
Mike Feller

Health benefits are part of the employees' compensation package, just like cash and vacation time. What's next - will the employer try to tell the employee how to spend their cash or where to take their vacation?

Alex Mckinney
Alex Mckinney

Its still medication. Its up to the person to take it or not. They shouldn't be able to deny anything. Health care is health care, everyone's beliefs will differ greatly.

Steven Simpson-Black
Steven Simpson-Black

These people will not stop until the only sex that is legal is that which produces a live birth. Read the article on the San Francisco Chronicle about the 25-foot buffer zones around reproductive health clinics. One activist admits that they're not about saving babies. They're about making sure that people pay consequences for having sex. This has never been about saving babies.

JJ O'Brand
JJ O'Brand

Tax religion, they shouldnt have such a lobbying force in legislation. Freedom of is freedom from religion also, end of story.

Christine O'Neill
Christine O'Neill

The Affordable Care Act has already accommodated religious organizations by mandating that the insurance companies themselves directly provide contraceptive coverage, at no cost to the employer, in the case that the employer objects to paying for contraceptives. That's more than fair.

Kim Randall
Kim Randall

Some people use contraceptives for other medical reasons like PCOS and by not covering the drug you're not covering a condition that is controllable. What next.... the employer gets to choose exactly what they will cover. "Bob, we'll only cover the flu, your kids skin rash and your wife's migraines. Nothing else, Bob. Nothing else."

Jean Whitney
Jean Whitney

It's not the company's business to know which part of your insurance you are using! What has become of our medical privacy laws??!!!

Jennifer Krieger
Jennifer Krieger

If you offer your employees insurance you should not be able to pick and choose which medicines your employees can access through that insurance. That is between you, your doctor, and the insurance company. It doesn't benefit anyone to restrict access to contraceptives.

Kyle Izded
Kyle Izded

I mean, it'd be cool, but they shouldn't HAVE to.

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