Rallies Draw Thousands to Missouri Capitol

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Thousands of people have gathered at the Missouri Capitol to rally against federal health care policies and state legislation affecting workers.

The inside of the Capitol was packed Tuesday with people from religious and anti-abortion groups upset about President Barack Obama’s policy requiring insurance companies to provide free birth control to women working at church-affiliated institutions.

The gathering coincided with a Senate debate on Missouri legislation allowing employers to refuse to provide insurance coverage for contraception.

The rally also coincided with U.S. Supreme Court arguments on the constitutionality of the federal health care law.

Outside the Capitol, union members were rallying against efforts by the Republican-led state Legislature to enact what they describe as anti-worker policies affecting union rights and wages on public works projects.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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