Religious group reacts to proposed birth control amendment

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - A Missouri state senator wants to block part of President Obama's Healthcare plan.

Republican State Senator Scott Rupp, Wentzville, is proposing a measure that would amend the state's constitution to forbid state laws from forcing an individual, employer, or health care provider to cover the costs of birth control.

The rule in President Obama's Healthcare plan requires employers to cover birth control and other contraceptives.

Religious groups say the idea of providing those in health plans is against their beliefs, and violates their First Amendment right of Freedom of Religion.

Brother David Migliorino, the Principal at Catholic affiliated Notre Dame High School in Cape Girardeau says it would have a big impact on both the church and school employees there.

"It would hurt us, there's no question, it would hurt us with the insurance because our teachers believe very much in our faith, and they have already said to me, we can't have that type of insurance that would allow that," said Migliorino.

He said as a last result, if the issue goes through, and all employers are required to cover costs for birth control, the school might do away with insurance for employees, and increase salaries so employees can purchase individual plans.

"It goes against everything we believe, the sacredness of life, the whole idea, the purposes of marriage the whole concept of why we are here in earth," said Migliorino. "It goes against everything we believe."

Father David Hulshof, a pastor at St. Vincent's Church and School in Cape Girardeau agrees.

"This is a moral issue for us" said Hulshof. "It's not an issue that somehow we're going to be changing our attitude about it, just giving us more time to think about it, but it's a moral conviction that we have."

He says they have about 45 employees. Hulshof says he questions the separation of church and state in this situation.

"I think we are in an area right now where that relationship of church and state is being blurred," said Hulshof. "Especially because it impacts how we are able to practice our faith, how we're able to live our moral convictions."

Proponents to the piece of President Obama's Healthcare Plan calls birth control and other contraceptives "important services" woman should have access to if desired.

If lawmakers approve the Missouri State Senator's proposed amendment, it would go to voters in November.

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