The St. Louis City Board of Alderman voted on Feb. 10 to add abortion to existing non-discrimination laws. Local religious organizations said the bill violates their religious liberty, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
“By approving Board Bill 203, the City of St. Louis has chosen to continue down a path of promoting death, repression, resentment, division and selfishness instead of promoting life, unity, charity, freedom and goodness,” said Catholic Archbishop Robert J. Carlson in a statement.
The bill seeks to protect individuals seeking housing or employment from discrimination based on their reproductive health decisions, according to Mary M. Kogut, President and CEO of St. Louis Planned Parenthood.
“We believe our patients and all St. Louisans deserve to make personal decisions about their reproductive health without interference from their boss or landlord,” Kogut said.
Peter Karutz, the president of a St. Louis-based Catholic business organization, said the bill infringes on the rights of business owners instead of preventing discrimination, according to the Associated Press.
“Businesses are not owned by robots,” Karutz said. “They’re owned by people, and under the Constitution, people have the right to have their own beliefs.”
Missouri Governor Eric Greitens spoke out on social media against the bill, according to the National Right to Life News.
“For now, we’re asking for your prayers and your voice. We need to send a clear message: the people of Missouri do not support Abortion Sanctuary Cities,” Greitens said in the post.