Missouri legislators said they were standing up for religious freedom this week when they overrode Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a bill that would allow employers and insurers to refuse to include birth control in women’s health insurance policies.
Actually, the lawmakers were exercising their freedom to pass insulting, repetitive legislation that conflicts with federal policy, is certain to be challenged in court and raises the question of why, in 2012, the Missouri General Assembly is worrying about birth control.
The House passed the override without a single vote to spare, 109-45, after Republican leaders leaned heavily on GOP Rep. Chris Molendorp of Belton, who didn’t support the bill during the session. Molendorp caved and voted for the override, thereby engendering the wrath of women’s groups which opposed the legislation.
But there is plenty of blame to spread around.
Seven Democrats joined Republicans in voting for the override and five didn’t vote. Among the absentees were two lawmakers from Kansas City, Michael Brown and Leonard Hughes IV.