Legislators cannot impose their religion on others

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Missouri legislators repeatedly told the world they were imposing their religious views on every Missourian when they passed bans and restrictions on abortion.

Take House Bill 126, which enacted several abortion bans when it was passed in 2019, including a “trigger ban” that prohibited all abortions and went into effect when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022.

Lawmakers openly and repeatedly emphasized they were writing their religious beliefs into HB 126, even declaring in the bill itself that “Almighty God is the author of life” – a phrase that an opposing lawmaker noted was “in violation of the separation of church and state.”


During three Missouri House of Representatives floor discussions on HB 126, legislators said they passed the ban because:

H.B 126 Floor Comments

“to me God doesn’t give us a choice in this area. He is the Creator of life.”

Then-Rep. Holly Thompson Rehder (R-District 148; now a state Senator in District 27)

“being from the Biblical side of it … life does occur at the point of conception.”

Rep. Barry Hovis (R-District 146)

“Life begins at conception. Psalms 119 … that's the very initial stages."

Then-Rep. Holly Thompson Rehder (R-District 148; now a state Senator in District 27)

“I do believe life begins at conception, that is built into our legislative findings currently in law…”

Bill Sponsor Then-Rep. Nick Schroer (R-District 107; now a state Senator in District 2)

When lawmakers enshrine their narrow set of religious beliefs about abortion into law, it subordinates the health and lives of women and all who can become pregnant, inhibiting their ability to participate equally in society.

The fundamental right to be treated equally under the law depends on church-state separation.


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