birth control

In Missouri, Women Could Be Disqualified for Jobs & Housing Because They Take Birth Control

A close up of a packet of birth control pills

In the latest news regarding women’s birth control–and general rights over their own bodies–it seems Missouri’s Senate is considering legislation that would allow employers and landlords to discriminate against women who use birth control or have had abortions, according to Newsweek. That is absolutely bonkers.

Even worse, the bill was approved by the Missouri House last week. The state’s governor Eric Greitens’ essential goal is to ” overturn an ordinance that prevents employers and housing providers from punishing women for their reproductive health choices,” as pointed out by Newsweek.

The version passed this past Tuesday expands the bill, referred to as SB 5, which includes even more terrifying anti-abortion restrictions, such as allowing landlords to refuse housing to women based on their reproductive health choices (like having abortions). Women on birth control could be fired or not hired at all, when it comes to work. I hate to say, but doesn’t this sound a little like “The Handmaid’s Tale?”

NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri, a women’s rights group, released a statement, describing how “out-of-touch” this legislation is:

“Gov. Eric Greitens and his GOP colleagues should be ashamed of their wasteful ‘emergency’ special session and their continued efforts to restrict a woman’s access to basic health care. This bill will do nothing to expand access to healthcare or improve the lives of Missouri residents. Instead, it puts Gov. Greitens’s personal political ambitions and out-of-touch agenda ahead of the needs of hard-working Missourians.”

The timing couldn’t be worse–or more ironic–since the expanded version of SB 5 comes only two months after a federal judge struck down two Missouri laws that prevented clinics from providing abortion services to women, outside of a Planned Parenthood in St. Louis. This new bill could actually override the federal judge’s ruling–and could potentially force abortion clinics to close.

Thankfully, there is some hope, considering the bill has to go back to the Senate–who I’m hoping will have the common sense not to pass it. I don’t have to tell you how the bill is a direct attack on religious freedom, on women’s bodies, and on women’s abilities to make independent choices. Women are not just baby breeders–and these kind of bills imply just that, however. If the bill does pass the Senate, then it won’t be long before it becomes an actual law.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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