Vetoed Mo. Refusal Bill Could Resurface This Week

September 11, 2012 — The Missouri General Assembly might reconsider a vetoed bill (SB 749) that would have allowed employers to refuse to provide insurance coverage for abortion or birth control for moral or religious reasons, the Springfield News-Leader reports.

Lawmakers are considering debating the bill in a veto session that begins on Wednesday, according to the News-Leader (Nelson, Springfield News-Leader, 9/10).

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) vetoed the bill in July, saying that Missouri law already allows moral and religious refusals (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/13). Nixon has publicly urged lawmakers not to overturn his decision.

The Republican caucus is scheduled to meet before the session opens on Wednesday to discuss an agenda. On Friday, House Speaker Pro Tempore Shane Schoeller (R) said he was uncertain if the bill would be brought up for an override vote.

Overrides require the support of two-thirds of lawmakers in each chamber to succeed. Republicans hold 26 of 34 Senate seats, but an override effort in the House would require five Democrats to side with all Republicans. Schoeller said lawmakers likely will consider the chances in the House when deciding which bills to bring up (Springfield News-Leader, 9/10).