Missouri wants to fire women for using birth control
Today in white men try to take away women’s rights
Missouri, literally no one’s favorite state, is trying to make it legal for women to be fired for using birth control.
Senate Bill 5 wants your landlord to not only ask you if you’re on the pill, but also deny your right to housing if they don’t like your answer. That amongst other things – they also think it’s cool for your boss to ask you the same questions and then let them fire you over it.
Like most bad ideas, this bill has quite the origin story.
In February, St. Louis City passed an ordinance saying it’s illegal for workplaces to discriminate against women for having an abortion, using contraceptive devices, or being pro-choice. This sounds like an overwhelming “okay!” that everyone would be on board with, because what women are doing with their bodies shouldn’t be everyone’s business.
Except Missouri’s governor, Eric Greitens, was #shooketh by the idea of a city wanting to provide women with rights. Greitens is pro-life, and believes this anti-discriminatory city ordinance is the result of “radical politicians” who are trying to make St. Louis an “abortion sanctuary city.”
Greitens wasn’t the only one feeling this way. Fearing a city full of people who want to have safe sex, Greitens grabbed both Missouri Republicans and the devil on his way to the Missouri House of Representatives, so they could all churn out Senate Bill 5 together.
Of course, the bill was presented in a way that implied it was totally for religious freedom. Greiten said the city ordinance passed in February would inhibit the religious freedom of pro-life groups, and Senate Bill 5 would correct this.
“It would make it illegal for organizations like Our Lady’s Inn and other pro-life groups to hire pro-life workers. So, we’re out here to protect pregnancy care centers,” Greitens said about the bill, as if ensuring that pro-life people work at pro-life agencies would make up for women becoming unemployed for being on birth control, even if it’s for medical reasons.
Unfortunately for Greitens, the Federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act says that employers can’t discriminate against women who have had an abortion, so who knows how far his plan will go. That doesn’t seem to be slowing him down: the House passed the vote, and now they’re waiting on Senate approval.
There’s no word on when the Senate will decide the fate of millions of women’s lives, but news is expected after the 4th of July. The state’s Democratic leaders have given a resounding ‘hell nah’ and plan to take the bill straight to litigation if it passes.
Missouri has done awful things in the past (see: joining the Confederacy), and passing this bill would surely be another horrible feat to add to the list. If you live in Missouri, now is probably a good time to call your Senators.