Catholics challenge St. Louis’ ‘abortion sanctuary’ law

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ST. LOUIS - Some St. Louis Catholics are suing the city over an ordinance that protects women against workplace discrimination based on whether they've had an abortion, used contraceptives, or are pregnant.

The federal lawsuit was filed Monday on behalf of a group of Roman Catholic grade schools; a home for pregnant women; and a private company whose owner is Catholic. It seeks to stop the city from enforcing the ordinance, which opponents say makes St. Louis a sanctuary city for abortion.

The law says no employer can fire, discipline or refuse to hire someone based on their ``reproductive health decisions'' including abortion, using contraceptives, using artificial insemination or getting pregnant out of wedlock.

Landlords also can't refuse to rent to someone based on those criteria. St. Louis adopted the ordinance in February.

In response to the lawsuit, St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson released as statement, "We don't believe the ordinance infringes on the rights of the Archdiocese. The city worked with the Archdiocese to modify the language in the board bill. As a city, we don't support discriminating against anyone."