A Sanctuary City … for Abortion?!

Sanctuary city jurisdictions are local governments that seek to trample upon and undermine the federal government’s constitutional role in enforcing immigration law by offering cover to illegal aliens. However, another sort of “sanctuary” legislation in the U.S. seeks to continually and legally trample the human conscience to protect abortion.

Religious groups in Missouri are now suing to overturn a St. Louis “abortion sanctuary” city ordinance that would have disastrous effects on the freedoms of religion, speech, and association. The AP reports:

A group of St. Louis Catholics filed a lawsuit against the city Monday over a local ordinance that prohibits discrimination based on “reproductive health decisions,” saying the law could force employers or landlords to go against their religious beliefs. The law, enacted in February, bars employers from hiring or firing people based on whether they have had an abortion, get pregnant outside of marriage, or use contraceptives or artificial insemination. Landlords also can’t refuse to rent to someone based on those criteria. Opponents say they law makes St. Louis a sanctuary city for abortion. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Roman Catholic grade schools operating under the Archdiocese of St. Louis; Our Lady’s Inn, a home for pregnant homeless women; and a private company whose owner is Catholic. It seeks to stop the city from enforcing the ordinance.

“The passage of this bill is not a milestone of our city’s success,” said St. Louis Archbishop Robert J. Carlson at a public press conference after filing the lawsuit on Monday. “It is rather a marker of our city’s embrace of the culture of death.”

Alderwoman Megan Green, 15th ward, who originally sponsored the legislation, called the lawsuit “frivolous.”

“We know that discrimination does exist. (The ordinance) was done to make sure we are protecting women in making their own medical choices,” Green said Monday, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

This is pure pro-abortion politician-ese.

Brushing past Alderwoman Green’s too-commonly-held assumption that abortion is simply just another “medical choice” — rather than a willful taking of human life (dressed up in a lab coat) — the ordinance does nothing to affect any St. Louisan’s ability to procure an abortion or means of contraception (aside from forcing employers to pay for the latter).

Rather, it seeks to elevate actions that just happen to be in concert with their worldview to a protected class (over the First Amendment rights of all else in the city who disagree with them), draping it all in the language of “anti-discrimination.”

And the measure goes far beyond just freedom of religion, but also freedom of speech as well. The law prohibits any housing or job listing “which expresses directly or indirectly any preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination because of reproductive health decisions.”

At the same press conference on Monday in St. Louis, Thomas More Society special counsel Sarah Pitlyk said: “It’s like a page right out of George Orwell’s ‘1984,’ in which people could be prosecuted for ‘thought crimes.’

One has to wonder: Was there really an epidemic of landlords asking women for their medical history in the city? Are these sorts of questions commonplace, across the board, in St. Louis job interviews? If not, what other ends would this serve (aside from creating a means to punish those who disagree with the abortion lobby’s established orthodoxy)?

This is several steps past the contraception mandate that brought the owners of Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Instead of making nonprofits violate their deeply held beliefs in order to merely remain operational, such abortion-sanctuary measures would actively undermine conservative groups’ own goals by forcing them to hire people whose worldviews fundamentally contradict the mission of pro-life organizations.

What this law implicitly teaches is that the killing of preborn children – and one’s support of the procedure – are in effect more important to the St. Louis government than the fundamental rights of conscience of anyone who dares disagree. It is not enough to be able to do so legally, but nobody may dissent to that action in any meaningful way, even with their own property.

The fundamental right of conscience are a sanctuary for the human soul. Now the federal courts will consider whether that ancient, inalienable refuge should even still exist in the city of St. Louis. (For more from the author of “A Sanctuary City … for Abortion?!” please click HERE)

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