Women’s Labor Union Sues To Stop Missouri Law Allowing Employers to Deny Contraceptive Coverage

The battle over the birth control benefit in the Affordable Care Act, requiring that insurance companies provide coverage for contraception without a co-pay, has been heated in Missouri. The legislature passed a bill to make it easier for companies to eliminate coverage of contraception in their employee health plans, and the governor vetoed it. 

The House and Senate together over-rode Democratic Governor Jay Nixon’s veto, making the state the only one in the country to directly challenge the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that all health care plans, including those offered by employers, must provide contraceptive coverage. Still, the battle over coverage is not over, as a local labor groups steps in and sues to block the bill from going into effect.

According to the St. Louis Business Journal, The Greater Kansas City Coalition of Labor Union Women has filed suit against the bill that expands “religious objection” protections for those who don’t want to cover contraceptive care, arguing that the state cannot trump federal law, and the Missouri bill directly and intentionally conflicts with the Affordable Care Act.

“We are coming fast out of the gate on this to show that labor is going to put its foot down on attempts to divide workers and deny workers their right to heath care,” said Edward Keenan, a labor lawyer with Keenan Law Firm in Kansas City who is representing the union in the lawsuit.

“We consider this move to be just another right wing assault on workers — limiting our members’ options and choices,” Keenan said.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, about 700,000 women in Missouri use birth control.

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

For more information or to schedule an interview with contact press@rhrealitycheck.org.

Follow Robin Marty on twitter: @robinmarty

  • uneasyone

    I’m not being asked to pay for anybodies birth control, the religious fanatics are trying to force me to pay for a bunch of unwanted pregnancies. 


    No one will be forced to pay more, unless the fanatics get their way, because pregnancy and chilodbirth are one helluva lot more expensive than birth control!  And don’t forget pediatric services for the kids.  They are trying to force us all to pay more for health insurance!  If birth control isn’t allowed, insurance is more expensive.  Simple as that.


    The religious fanatics are not being forced to violate their religious beliefs, they are trying to enforce their religious beliefs on the rest of us, whether we subscribe th those beliefs or not.  Even the vast majority of Catholics practice birth control.


    The “right” to impose an unwelcome belief system on an employee is a “right” to take freedom away and impose unwelcome religious beliefs on others, to violate the rights of others; there is no proposal to force anyone to use birth control.


    No organization whose primary purpose has been the coverup of child rapists, who gave de factodiplomatic immunity to Bernard Law, the criminal who fled the country ahead of the legal consequences for his protection of child rapists has any legitimate claim to moral authority in any case.  This is an authoritarian, top-down organization that is also an ongoing criminal enterprise.  One thing cannot be separated from the other.


    Let’s see those Catholic bishops denounce the pope – or even his actions in harboring a criminal.  Until then, any claim they make to moral authority is disgusting and laughable.


    Of course, that would still give them no right to impose their beliefs upon their employees.

  • give-em-hell-mary