Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of anti-contraceptive coverage bill has been overridden by both the Missouri House and Senate.
Both chambers needed a two-thirds majority to override the veto, and the House got exactly that margin. It passed the Senate with over a three-fourths majority. The new law gives employers the option of denying coverage for birth control, abortions and sterilization. GOP Assistant Floor Leader Jeannie Riddle says it’s about both religious freedom and protecting small business owners.
“To require them to go against every moral fiber of how they choose to operate their business, I believe it goes against every moral fiber of us as Americans,” Riddle says.
Governor Nixon was disappointed, saying the new law will weaken women’s options and give too much power to insurance companies.
Meanwhile, the vote yesterday appeared to mark the first time a state has directly rebutted a policy by President Barack Obama's administration, which requires insurers to cover contraception.
A Kansas City-based labor group says it’s filing a suit to block the new law.