Gov. Jay Nixon should veto a bill on his desk that would limit insurance benefits for contraceptive coverage because:
- In the year 2012, Missouri doesn’t need to be debating birth control. The vast majority of Americans want affordable access to it and should have it.
- For women not in that majority, state law already gives them the right to request that contraceptive coverage be removed from their insurance packages. That’s as it should be. The consumer, not the employer, should make the call.
- Senate Bill 749 is a sloppy piece of legislation that enables employers or insurers to cite “religious, moral or ethical” objections for refusing to pay for contraception, as well as sterilization and abortion services. Under those vague guidelines, an employer who simply believes mothers should stay out of the workplace could cite “moral” reasons for not paying for birth control coverage.
- The bill would have no effect beyond costing the state legal fees. The Affordable Care Act, with its ability to regulate insurance coverage, is the law of the land and deemed constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. Missouri can’t empower citizens to ignore federal law or regulations.
Given all this, it’s somewhat surprising Nixon is taking so long to veto Senate Bill 749. But he is required to take action on all of this session’s bills by Saturday.
We look forward to an emphatic veto of this meaningless, backward legislation.
Copyright Kansas City Star. Reprinted with permission. Questions? Contact Opinion editor Elizabeth Conner.