(From the Missouri Progressive Caucus)
On the last day of legislative session, the Missouri Legislature gave final approval to a bill designed to undermine the incredibly popular proposal requiring most health insurance plans to cover birth control as preventive care with no additional co-pays. SB 749 (Lamping-R24) attempts to block the federal law supported by the majority of Americans.
STATEMENT from Stacey Newman, State Representative, 73rd District, Chair, House Progressive Caucus
“I’m proud to stand here today with leaders of the Labor Movement because the Progressive Caucus believes working people should be able to continue to make decisions based on their own religious beliefs and moral convictions, not those of their employer.“I’m proud to stand here today with Rabbi Talve because this bill tramples on religious freedom. My faith calls on me to use my best judgment when it comes to protecting my reproductive health. Yet this bill would allow employers to place their religion over my basic health care needs and over my ability follow my own religious teaching on birth control and sterilization.“I’m proud to stand here today with Truman State senior, Mary Grace, because the Progressive Caucus believes that a responsible young woman who pays for health insurance should not have to choose between paying for food or paying for birth control just because her employer has an objection.“Instead of focusing on the real concerns of Missourians, Legislative Leadership in Jefferson City want to take a huge step backward for women’s health. It’s hard to believe during these difficult economic times, we spent so much time this year trying to take health care away from Missouri women.“Governor Nixon needs to remember contraception is a basic pocketbook issue for many women and families. The average woman pays between $180 and $600 out-of-pocket each year for birth control. In these tough economic times, this is money that many women and families need to put food on the table.“The Progressive Caucus calls on the Governor to veto this backwards bill.”