Mo. Senate passes birth control coverage measure

Thursday, March 29, 2012 ~ Updated 2:31 PM

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Missouri Senate has approved legislation letting employers refuse to provide health insurance coverage for birth control in some instances.

The legislation, passed Thursday on a voice vote, would let employers deny coverage unless an employee has a medical need for birth control. The measure now goes to the Missouri House.

Sponsoring Sen. John Lamping, a St. Louis County Republican, says business owners should not have to pay for medical procedures they find morally objectionable.

Some Senate Democrats said the bill would make it more difficult for women to obtain contraception. They also said most of the bill's provisions are already in state law, and that Republicans merely bought the bill up to appease conservative religious voters.

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