State lawmakers override veto of birth control bill

Sep 12, 2012

Missouri lawmakers have overridden Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of a bill expanding religious exceptions for insurance coverage of birth control.

The vote Wednesday by the House and Senate means the legislation will immediately become law.

The legislation lets individuals, employers and insurers cite religious or moral exemptions from mandatory insurance coverage for abortion, contraception and sterilization. It's intended as a rebuff of an Obama administration policy that requires insurers to cover birth control at no additional cost to women, including those employed by religiously affiliated nonprofits such as hospitals, colleges or charities.

A 2001 Missouri law already requires birth control prescriptions to be covered under policies that include pharmaceutical benefits. That law also allows insurers to offer policies without contraception coverage to those who say it violates their beliefs.