Missouri House overwhelmingly passes measure neutralizing ordinance making St. Louis an “Abortion Sanctuary City”

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-life Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens

Pro-life Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens

When last we reported on Board Bill 203, passed by the St. Louis board of aldermen in February to make the largest city in Missouri an Abortion Sanctuary City, pro-life Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens was expressing his steadfast opposition and pro-lifers were about to file a bill intended to reverse the new ordinance.

What the Board of Aldermen did on February 17 was to add abortion to the city’s discrimination ordinance. Abortion became a protected class equal with race, gender, religion, and disability. The vote was 17-10 in favor of Board Bill 203.

A coalition of groups, including Missouri Right to Life and the Catholic Church, fought back. “(St. Louis) civic leaders have taken every citizen into the business of protecting abortion,” Missouri Right to Life President Steve Rupp said at the time. “This action betrays the fine history of this state, betrays the many citizens in the St. Louis area and across the state who are proud of and love St. Louis and love to spend time there with friends and family. Board Bill 203 clearly discriminates against the religious freedom of those who oppose the killing of innocent human beings in the womb.”

Today on a vote of 116-34, the Missouri House gave initial approval to HB 174 which “would give clear protection to the religious liberty of alternatives-to-abortion agencies and their agents to freely engage in religious practices and speech without government interference,” according to Rupp.

Reporter Celeste Bott of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch explained, “The bill preempts cities like St. Louis from enacting ordinances that would infringe on the free speech and religious rights of alternatives to abortion agencies, or facilities that counsel pregnant women against abortion.” She added, “After one more vote in the House, the measure will head to Senate, where it is expected to pass.”

Democrats, as always groused. Their hatred for crisis pregnancy centers is limitless.

Gov. Greitens is committed to signing the bill, fulfilling his promise “We must win this and I am proud to lead the fight on this issue.”

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