Missouri Reps Vote to Let Your Boss Fire You if You Use Birth Control

Should your boss be able to fire you if he found out you had an abortion? Should your landlord be able to evict you if he objects to the fact that you use contraceptives?

The answers to those questions should be obvious “nos,” yet it’s already frighteningly close to becoming a reality in Missouri. This week, the state House passed SB 5, legislation that would make it easier for employers and landlords to discriminate against workers and tenants based upon personal health decisions.

The bill was already passed by the state Senate, but when it reached the House, they tacked on a bunch of amendments to make it even more draconian. Now it’s up to the state Senate to decide whether they’re willing to pass this updated version of the legislation.

Were asking the Care2 community to sign this petition imploring Missouri state senators to reject such a deliberately anti-women bill.

The thing is, the original bill without these additions would be ludicrous enough. The state Senate’s version was designed to add extra (and inessential) requirements for abortion providers. In particular, the bill would obligate abortion facilities to collect and ship fetal tissue samples from their patients, for no real purpose other than to increase operation costs in another effort to push them out of business.

This legislation is not only a big middle finger to women’s reproductive health choices, it also essentially stipulates that no reproductive health choices are satisfactory to conservative politicians.

If a boss morally objects to a woman having an abortion, he can fire her. However, if she decides not to terminate the pregnancy, he can also fire her for being pregnant out of wedlock. And if she chooses to use birth control to avoid getting pregnant in the first place, it turns out that her boss can fire her for that, too.

Sure makes a lot of sense, huh?

If you’re wondering how a bill like this gets approved in the first place, it may have something to do with the fact that women hold only 22 percent of the seats in Missouri’s legislative bodies.

If there’s any good news, it’s that federal laws (see the Pregnancy Discrimination Act) already exist to prevent employers from firing or punishing pregnant female employees, including those who have abortions. Missouri would practically be guaranteeing a trip to court if it tries to supersede the PDA with SB 5.

Unfortunately, the same protections do not exist – at least not explicitly – for women who use birth control. If Missouri lawmakers decide that bosses and landlords have the right to fire and evict because they don’t want employees and tenants who use the pill, federal rules probably can’t bail the women of Missouri out of this blatant form of discrimination.

That’s especially absurd when you consider that 99 percent of post-pubescent/premenopausal women who have had sex have used some form of birth control. That opens the door for bosses to come down on nearly all of their female employees for something that nearly every woman does.

Sadly, the people of Missouri cannot count on a veto from Governor Eric Greitens. The Republican said that St. Louis has become an “abortion sanctuary city” and wants to “protect” the right of religious people to object to how other people lead their lives… over protecting the right for women to make choices over their own bodies, apparently.

Take Action!

Therefore, our last bet is to plead via this petition with Republicans in the Missouri Senate to reject the new version of the bill as going way too far. Legislators should be ashamed for leaving women vulnerable to lose their housing and their jobs for literally whatever reproductive health choice they make.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

119 comments

Marie W
Marie Wabout a year ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hillabout a year ago

How will they know unless you tell them? Just don't tell them.

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Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla1 years ago

Is this true? I don't believe it! One of the first-world countries is doing stuff like if they lived in the 18th century! This is so, so bad. Petition signed already, sharing again.

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Amanda M
Amanda M1 years ago

Petition signed with a vengeance, and this bill is just more proof (as if we needed any!), that not only is there definitely a War on Women, but it is not just about abortion rights. It's about their denying us the right to control ANYTHING about our own bodies and make us the property of men. Think "The Handmaid's Tale" without the color code. Since when is it a boss's or landlord's business what a woman does or does not do with her own body, or what medications she takes. And since so many women use contraception for purposes other than pregnancy prevention, this is a sticky wicket that is best left alone! You notice that nobody is complaining about men using ED drugs, and it's a safe bet that not all of them are in a monogamous relationship! I hope this bill goes into the dumpster of stupid ideas best forgotten by history, but knowing the anti-choicers, there's not much chance of that!

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Lisa M
Lisa M1 years ago

Noted.

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Lisa M
Lisa M1 years ago

Noted.

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Jennifer H
Jennifer H1 years ago

On another note...doesn't anyone remember Hobby Lobby...Perfect example.

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Jennifer H
Jennifer H1 years ago

The repugnican crotch police again. Bring America Back to 1950s Again.

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Jenny G
Jenny G1 years ago

Are you kidding? I'll be signing the petition! That's ridiculous!

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Karen H
Karen H1 years ago

You're so right, Pam. I don't see the Religious Right defending it.

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