Archdiocese speaks out against proposed bill to protect reproductive decisions

Alderwoman Megan Green said the bill would protect certain women from employment and housing discrimination.

A St. Louis alderwoman is pushing a new bill to protect the reproductive decisions of women, and now leaders of the archdiocese are speaking out.

15th ward Alderwoman Megan Green says this bill she's introducing would protect certain women from employment and housing discrimination.

Members of the archdiocese say Green's proposal would force employers and landlords to go against what they stand for.

"What we're seeing right now is unprecedented attacks on women and particularly women's health," siad Green.

To stop those attacks, Green is pushing for a bill that would abolish discrimination against pregnancy and other reproductive decisions in the work place. 

"We've had 11 bills that are pre-filed at the state level that are attacking women's health in one shape or form," Green said.

This is one reason why Green says it's important to write these kinds of protections in to local ordinances.

Members of the Archdiocese of St. Louis say Greens' proposal really is not necessary and could do significant harm to religious freedom in regards to employment and more.

"Catholic institutions could be fined if they do not provide coverage within their insurance plan," said Executive Director of Respect Life Archdiocese Karen Nolkemper.

Archdiocese leaders say that's not for legislators to decide. They say the new legislation could also affect landlords.

"They could be fined by the city if they don't want to rent to anyone affiliated with the abortion industry in any way," Nolkemper said.

In response, Green says religious freedom should not infringe on the rights of others.

"If a woman makes that private decision to have an abortion, or access contraception or in vitro fertilization, all things that are covered in this bill or even hold a pregnancy to term, the employer cannot discriminate against that woman for making that decision," she said.

Green says there will be a hearing on Bill 203 next Wednesday.

The Archdiocese say they offer several pro-life options for women. For more information, visit http://archstl.org/respectlife.

© 2017 KSDK-TV


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