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Missouri Legislature Overrides Veto Of Birth Control Bill

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Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D)
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D)

The Republican-controlled Missouri State Legislature voted on Wednesday to override Gov. Jay Nixon's (D) veto of a bill that would allow employers and insurers to refuse to cover birth control, abortion or sterilization for moral reasons.

The State Senate overrode the governor's veto by a vote of of 26-6, while the House, which needed 109 votes to override, barely did so, by a vote of 109-45.

Nixon said at a press conference in July that he vetoed the bill because "we want families making these decisions, not insurance companies."

The bill's sponsor, Sen. John Lamping (R-Ladue), argued on Wednesday that it was important and urgent for lawmakers to override the veto because the Affordable Care Act requires most employers and insurers to cover certain preventative health services, including birth control, at no additional cost to the woman. He cited as an example the Christian-owned arts and crafts store Hobby Lobby, which announced on Wednesday that it is suing the Obama administration over the contraception mandate.

Rep. Linda Black (D-Bonne Terre), who opposed the veto override in the House, said that while she is "pro-life," she believes the bill will not prevent abortions. "It will lead to more by reducing birth control access," she told colleagues.

Nixon's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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