Pro-Life Special Session Announced by Governor Eric Greitens

Yesterday, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens issued his official proclamation for a second emergency special session Monday, June 12, this time to further restrict abortion providers and overrule a St. Louis reproductive anti-discrimination ordinance.

The Republican governor spoke of pregnancy care centers in Missouri that help pregnant women and new moms with food, clothing, medical care, and financial support. The other would have overturned the ordinance by barring any Missouri municipality from declaring itself as a sanctuary city for women seeking abortions; it didn't even get a hearing.

Opponents of the law said that forced the closure of clinics that could not meet the standards. In May, a pro-life maternity home, local business owner and the Catholic diocese in the area filed a lawsuit against the pro-abortion ordinance, saying it violates their constitutional freedoms.

The Reproductive Health Services wing of St. Louis' Planned Parenthood, the only current abortion provider in the state, told the Associated Press that it was unaware until recently that it had to report any complications from the procedures under a 38-year-old state law. The protections apply to corporations and all businesses, not only individuals.

Last month, Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis said the archdiocese will not comply with the "vile bill" which he said marks the city's "embrace of the culture of death".

Greitens was also among the ordinance's critics. He appeared at the St. Louis center Thursday. St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said the ordinance is aimed at barring discrimination. "It is to protect the pregnancy care centers so that they can do this really important work so that they are not driven into court by radical politicians".

The governor said the Missouri Senate failed to act on a bill that would address the measure, which prompted the need for the special session.

Another focus of the special session will be what the governor called "common-sense health and safety standards in all medical facilities".

We're proposing, for example, that abortion clinics should have an annual safety inspection.

The governor also advocated laws that "will stop abortion clinics from interfering with emergency responders". He contended that abortion clinics now can tell an ambulance to come slowly, not to use lights and sirens, or go around to the back of the clinic.

"Missouri Right to Life is grateful for Governor Greitens and his commitment to protecting women and unborn babies".

In April, a federal judge blocked Missouri laws requiring doctors who perform abortions to be affiliated with hospitals and abortion clinics to be licensed as ambulatory surgical centers. The law also required abortionists to have hospital privileges. "Protecting conscience rights of people of faith who do not wish to be complicit in the abortion industry is fundamental to our democracy", said Mike Hoey, Executive Director of the MCC.

  • Larry Hoffman