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Lawmakers In Mo., Other States, Forming 'Religious Freedom' Caucuses

Mo. Capitol in autumn_0.jpg
Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio
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Missouri is one of nine states where lawmakers are forming caucuses they say will focus on preserving religious freedom.

Departing State Representative Mike McGhee (R, Odessa) is organizing Missouri’s caucus.  He says one of their functions will be to consult with lawmakers in other states on making sure that the language used in bills doesn’t result in the erosion of religious rights.

“If we have an idea that says, ‘Hey, we want the Catholic Church to be able to step aside here and not provide abortion drugs if the Catholic Church so (chooses),' how do we do that?"  McGhee said.  "How can we do that through the legislature?” 

McGhee says the caucuses' formations are not in response to President Obama’s contraceptive mandate, but:  “I think it is a wake-up call…possibly, President Obama’s ideas for direction for the country (have) really got this off and started…that could be a part of it, but I don’t think that that is the major drive for doing it.”

McGhee says lawmakers from both political parties and all religious persuasions are welcome to join.  

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.

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