ST. LOUIS, Mo. — The city council of St. Louis has approved a proposal that adds women who’ve had an abortion to the city’s non-discrimination ordinance.
Board Bill 203 was presented by Alderman Megan Green, who said that the protections were necessary to keep employers and landlords from acting adversely when a mother chooses to end the life of her unborn child.
“Employers can have their own beliefs,” she told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “but they shouldn’t be able to impose those beliefs on people or fire someone because of those beliefs.”
But faith-based organizations expressed opposition to the proposal, stating that it instead “promotes religious discrimination against those who don’t want to be complicit in the evils of abortion.”
“I am outraged that the City of St. Louis Board of Aldermen has now enshrined into law an ordinance which creates a ‘sanctuary’ for the despicable practice of abortion,” said Roman Catholic Archbishop Robert Carlson in a statement. “In other words, the laws of the City of St. Louis now actively protect and promote the killing of unborn children.”
Thomas Buckley, an attorney for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, declared during a hearing on the bill that the matter “will go straight to federal court.”
The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and St. Louis University likewise expressed concern over the ordinance.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the move passed 17-10 on Friday, with some council members opining that the ordinance causes unnecessary division in that it is based on a controversial subject. Alderman Joseph Vaccaro presented an amendment to send the matter back to committee for further debate, but it was rejected.
“By approving Board Bill 203, the City of St. Louis has chosen to continue down a path of promoting death, repression, resentment, division, and selfishness instead of promoting life, unity, charity, freedom, and goodness,” Carlson said.
“This horrible piece of legislation will now force city residents to be unwilling participants in the abortion business by requiring business owners and individuals to tacitly approve any ‘reproductive health’ decisions made by their employees or tenants,” he stated. “The passage of this bill is not a milestone of our city’s success. It is, rather, a marker of our city’s embrace of the culture of death.”