In the suit, Wieland and his lawyers contend that such coverage is not “health care or a means of providing for the well being of persons. Rather, plaintiffs believe contraceptives, sterilization, and abortifacients involve gravely immoral practices and that abortion in particular involves the intentional destruction of innocent human life.”
The suit raises the same legal issues swirling around a state law that the Missouri General Assembly attempted to enact in 2012 – over Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto – that allowed employers to offer insurance coverage excluding contraception or sterilization. (The state already has a law allowing exemptions from abortion coverage.)
So far, judges have ruled against the state law, using the same grounds – that the federal law is supreme. State House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, among the most outspoken defenders of the state law, says it’s wrong to require companies or employees to buy into coverage they find immoral.
The question is whether more like-minded Missouri legislators who receive state insurance coverage follow Wieland's lead and go to court.