A federal judge has struck down a Missouri law exempting religious organizaions from mandatory birth control coverage because it conflicts with an insurance requirement under President Barrack Obama's health care law. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Audrey Fleissig cites a provision in the U.S. Constitution declaring that federal laws take precedence over contradictory state laws.
The Missouri law had required insurers to issue policies without contraception coverage if individuals or employers assert that the use of birth control violates their "moral, ethical or religious beliefs." The state's Republican-led Legislature overrode Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of the law last September.
Peter Brownlie, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, praised the ruling for ensuring "that all Missouri women -no matter who their boss is - have access to basic preventive health care without a co-pay, including birth control."