Life News is reporting on the suit which challenges an ordinance passed in the city in February that would make the city a “sanctuary” for abortion. The Board of Alderman bill is intended to protect people from being discriminated against because they are pregnant, or are having an abortion or who use contraception.
“Employers can have their own beliefs,” the bill’s sponsor, Alderwoman Megan Green, 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.”
Because of this, she crafted a bill that some believe could be used to force religious entities to hire abortion activists or rent property to abortion providers or abortion advocacy groups. It could also force Catholic schools to hire teachers who do not share the Church’s pro-life views.
The Archdiocese, along with a pro-life maternity home and a local Catholic businessman, decided to file suit and are asking the court to block the city from enforcing the measure because it violates their constitutionally protected freedoms.
“Passage of this bill is not a milestone of our city’s success,” St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson said at news conference outside the federal courthouse where the lawsuit was filed on Monday. “It is rather a marker of our city’s embrace of the culture of death.”
Sarah Pitlyk, special legal counsel for Thomas More Society, pointed out, “This ordinance does not exempt individuals with sincere religious, moral or ethical objections to abortion from its requirements in any way, and even for qualifying religious organizations, the exemption for employment, housing and realty is extremely limited,” Pitlyk said. “That is unconstitutional, and directly violates both federal and state law.”
Pitlyk is confident that the court will grant their request for relief.
“Ordinance 70459 is unlawful and unenforceable, and we fully expect the court to invalidate it,” she said.
As the Associated Press reports, Alderwoman Green insists that the bill isn’t aimed at any particular law, but is meant to reflect the city’s opposition to future laws which could be enacted in Missouri by pro-life Republicans who are now in complete control of the state government.
Similar worries are occurring on a national level as abortion advocates worry about the possible impact of prolife justices who could be placed on the Supreme Court during President Donald Trump’s tenure in office.
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh has already announced similar plans to make his city a “sanctuary” city for abortion just in case the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
However, even if this did happen, abortion would not become immediately illegal. Rather, the power to regular abortion would return to the states.
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