Federal Court Strikes Down Conscience Protection Bill – “Barnes Amendment” Remains Good Law

First the bad: Earlier this week, a federal judge struck down legislation we passed last year (over a Governor’s veto) to protect the religious liberties of Missouri employers forced by ObamaCare to pay for services for which they have a religious objection. 

Now the good: SB 749 was about more than just the religious liberties of Missouri employers. It also included what the Missouri Catholic Conference called “the Barnes Amendment,” a provision which ensures that no Missourian will ever be forced to pay for another’s elective abortion.

Section 376.1199.6 now provides that insurers must inform all Missourians with employer-sponsored health plans “whether an optional rider for elective abortions has been purchased” by the employer, and that all Missourians have “the right to exclude and not pay for coverage for elective abortions if such coverage is contrary to his or her moral, ethical, or religious beliefs.”