If Republicans get their way in Missouri, landlords and employers will be able to legally discriminate against women who’ve had abortions or use birth control. Yes, really.
Missouri Senate Republicans are working on passing a bill that could be devastating for women. Senate Bill 5 would allow employers and landlords to discriminate against women based on whether or not they’ve had an abortion or take birth control.
The bill was passed by the Missouri House last week. And the state’s governor, Eric Greitens, is championing the bill. So if it’s passed by the Senate it will be signed into law shortly after.
Earlier this month, Greitens called for a special session to address a recently passed ordinance in St. Louis that prevents employers and housing providers from discriminating against women based on their reproductive health choices. Greitens wants that overturned. SB 5 will roll those protections back.
“The ordinance was passed by the city of St. Louis, and Greitens had said it made the area into “an abortion sanctuary city.” The Senate seemed to agree with him, as did the House, which on Tuesday passed an expanded version of SB 5 that included more anti-abortion restrictions. Given the Senate’s vote on June 14, it is seen as likely to approve the updated version of SB 5. This would mean that landlords could refuse to offer housing to women based on their reproductive health choices, while employers could fire female staff members who were using birth control, or refuse to hire them. And while of course this isn’t information most landlords or employers have access to, under SB 5 they could ask women what forms of reproductive health care they are using.”
The women’s rights group NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri put out a scathing statement saying,
“Gov. Eric Greitens and his GOP colleagues should be ashamed of their wasteful ’emergency’ special session and their continued efforts to restrict a woman’s access to basic health care. This bill will do nothing to expand access to healthcare or improve the lives of Missouri residents. Instead, it puts Gov. Greitens’ personal political ambitions and out-of-touch agenda ahead of the needs of hard-working Missourians.”
If Missouri actually passes this discriminatory law it will likely immediately get tied up in the courts. There is a federal law, the Federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act, that prevents discrimination against women who’ve had abortions. However, the act makes no mention of birth control.