Missouri Law Protecting Free Exercise of Religion (SB 916)
This law was last updated on Apr 24, 2014
SB 916 would have prohibited a governmental authority from substantially burdening a person’s free exercise of religion, unless the governmental authority demonstrates that it has a compelling governmental interest, and the burden is the least restrictive means to further such interest. The act provided a claim or defense in legal disputes and proceedings whether the government is a party in the claim or not.
According to Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri:
This bill seeks to protect and encourage broad-based discrimination by protecting any Missourian who cites religious beliefs as a legal justification for their actions. This could give hospitals, pharmacists, physicians, and other medical clinicians the right to deny information about and access to reproductive health care without consequence. The bill includes few limits on protected activities and would allow an emergency room worker to withhold emergency contraception from a rape survivor or a business to drop insurance coverage for birth control for its employees.
Referred to Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee.