Missouri officials enacting Christian belief as state law

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.


Help AU Challenge Abortion Bans as Violations of Church-State Separation

Donate Today


Americans United & the National Women’s Law Center file suit to challenge Missouri’s abortion bans.

Abortion bans violate the separation of church and state. Americans United and the National Women’s Law Center—the leading experts in religious freedom and gender justice—have joined forces with thirteen clergy from six faith traditions to challenge Missouri’s abortion bans as unconstitutionally imposing one narrow religious doctrine on everyone.

Join the Fight and Donate Today