It's Official! The Missouri Legislature Wants Your Employer to Control Your Health Care Decisions
What’s the matter with Missouri? That is the question we are asking ourselves this week, after the state legislature overrode Governor Jay Nixon’s veto, allowing a birth control refusal bill to become law. Unfortunately this isn’t the only bad news for women’s health to come from the “Show-Me State” this year. Here are top five bad things for women’s health coming out of Missouri this year.
- Missouri Legislators Override Veto and Put Employers in Charge of Women’s Birth Control Decisions — This week legislators allowed (by only one vote in the House) a bill that lets your boss decide whether you can get affordable access to birth control to become law. If your boss has a “moral objection” to birth control, you can say good bye to your coverage.
- The Blunt Amendment: Birth Control Refusal for the Whole Country – Before Missouri state legislators tried to take away birth control, there was Missouri Senator Roy Blunt. Blunt authored an amendment in Congress that would allow your employer to refuse to provide health insurance coverage for any benefit based on a so-called “moral conviction.” Specifically, this bill was targeted to deny women access to birth control with no co-pay, one of the newly instituted benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Nationwide. Luckily, it was defeated in the Senate by a vote of 51–48.
- Todd Akin’s Offensive Comments on “Legitimate Rape” — Asked why he doesn’t support abortion in most cases of rape, Akin responded: "[F]rom what I understand from doctors, that's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down." This callous and factually incorrect statement caused quite a firestorm and shed an incredibly unfavorable light on this congressman who is running for Senate in Missouri.
- Todd Akin Called for Ban on Emergency Contraception — Akin’s comments on “legitimate rape” were just the latest in a string of extreme positions. He had previously made waves by calling for a complete ban on emergency contraception. Despite the fact that emergency contraception works to prevent a pregnancy before it occurs, Akin continues to insist that it is a form of abortion.
- Missouri Honors Rush Limbaugh — After being denied the opportunity to testify about the ACA’s birth control benefit before Congress, Sandra Fluke stood up and spoke out in favor of the birth control benefit, leading Rush Limbaugh to call her a “slut” and a “prostitute.” Two months later, Missouri Republicans honored Limbaugh and inducted him into their Hall of Famous Missourians.