This was originally published on June 19, 2017 on Liberal America.
Under this new Republican regime, reproductive rights are taking a hit left and right. Many states are limiting abortion rights and access to birth control. Women in Missouri may be facing another setback in their reproductive rights.
The Senate in Missouri just passed a bill that would legally allow hiring managers to discriminate against women who use birth control or women who have had abortions. The law also requires abortion clinics to meet the same standards as outpatient surgery centers.
Governor Eric Greitens said:
“We want to protect life. We want to defend life, and we want to promote a culture of life here in the state of Missouri.”
Currently, the state bans employers from discriminating against these women. However, this new law would repeal it.
Alison Dreith, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri, criticized the lawmakers for waiting until midnight to vote on this bill. She said:
“Passing further restrictions on women’s access to abortion in the dark of night is shameful, at best. Republican senators know this, or they would have allowed the hundreds of people rallying at the Capitol on Wednesday take part in the process.”
The Kansas City Star reports:
“It also would provide stronger whistleblower protections for employees of abortion clinics and new requirements for pathologists who provide services to abortion clinics.”
This is a huge step backward in the fight for women’s rights. A woman’s reproductive decisions should not cost her a job. An employer has no business even discussing it or asking about it. That is a private decision between a woman, her spouse, and her doctor. The bill is using the rights of faith-based employers as an excuse, but it’s a pretty thin excuse. No employer has the right to discriminate against women in this way. This would set a scary precedent for other states, as well.