JEFFERSON CITY, Mo., Sept. 13 (UPI) -- The Missouri Legislature has overridden Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of a law allowing employers to deny coverage of birth control on religious grounds.
A single senator was the only member of the Republican majorities in the Senate and House to vote against the override Wednesday, The Kansas City Star reported. In the House, seven Democrats supported the override, while Rep. Chris Molendorp, the only Republican to vote against the original bill, cast the decisive vote that gave the override a two-thirds majority.
A lawsuit asking the courts to overturn the bill was filed almost immediately, with a Kansas City firefighter and the city's chapter of the Coalition of Labor Union Women as the plaintiffs.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis called the vote "a powerful pro-life statement, one that gives us hope that conscience rights will be extended to all U.S. citizens."
"This is a victory for Catholics, people of all faiths, and more specifically, Missouri citizens who value religious liberty," church officials said in a statement.
Critics of the law say it interferes with the freedom of Missouri residents to follow their own consciences on birth control. Supporters say the issue is not access to birth control but who pays for it.
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