Mo. Catholic bishops want birth control appeal

Thursday, March 21, 2013 | 5:12 p.m. CDT; updated 5:49 p.m. CDT, Thursday, March 21, 2013

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri's Catholic bishops have joined the chorus urging the appeal of a federal court ruling striking down the state's contraception insurance exemption for people with religious or moral objections.

The state's bishops are asking Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster to appeal with "all due haste." They said Thursday that people should not be forced to pay for contraception if it violates their religious beliefs.

Last year, the Republican-led General Assembly overrode Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's veto to enact the exemption. It allows individuals, employers and insurers to cite religious or moral exemptions from mandatory insurance coverage for abortion, contraception and sterilization.

A U.S. District Court judge said the exemption ran contrary to President Barack Obama's health care law.

Republican Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones asked Koster to appeal the decision Wednesday.

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