JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Catholic Conference is hailing legislation passed by the Missouri House of Representative that seeks to stop the creation of abortion “sanctuaries” in Missouri.
HB 174, sponsored by State Representative Tila Hubrecht (R-Dexter), would overturn a City of St. Louis ordinance passed in February that allows fines to be levied against those who refuse to cooperate with the abortion industry. The bill also prevents other municipalities from the enacting similar ordinances.
Under the City of St. Louis ordinance, fines can be levied against landlords who refuse to rent space to an abortion clinic or a pro-abortion advocacy group and Catholic schools can be fined if they decide not to hire a teacher who publicly promotes abortion.
According to Mike Hoey, the executive director of the Missouri Catholic Conference, the abortion industry has adopted a new national strategy. “They are losing on the national and state level, so now they want to create abortion sanctuaries on the local municipal level,” he said.
“The sanctuary movement has had some success in states like New York and California, but this is Missouri and Missouri is a strong pro-life state,” Hoey noted.
“Here in Missouri we are not about to let the abortion industry take the ancient principle of giving sanctuary and twist its meaning into protecting the abortion industry and forcing citizens to aid the abortion industry,” Hoey said.
Instead of creating abortion “sanctuaries,” Hoey wants to see the entire state of Missouri become a sanctuary for life. “HB 174 is an important step toward making Missouri a sanctuary for life. We are going to take back this idea of sanctuary and restore it to its original and noble purpose.”
The Missouri Catholic Conference was joined by Missouri Right to Life, Campaign Life and others in securing House approval of HB 174. The bill now moves to the Missouri Senate for that body’s consideration. Governor Eric Greitens has already indicated his support for legislation putting an end to abortion “sanctuaries” in Missouri.