Gov. Greitens to call special legislative session on Pro-Life initiatives

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on Wednesday announced his plan to call back the legislature for a Pro-Life special session.

The governor made his announcement in a Facebook video.

“I’m pro-life, and I believe that we need to defend life and promote a culture of life here in the state of Missouri,” Greitens said before touching on a few of the initiatives he wants lawmakers to address.

Greitens praised the state’s faith community and the work of pregnancy centers across Missouri. He said these centers “are under attack.”

“Politicians are trying to make it illegal, for example, for pro-life organizations to say that they just want to hire pro-life Missourians,” he said in the announcement.

Greitens is referring to a Feb. 10 vote by the the St. Louis City Board of Alderman to add abortion and contraceptive use to the city’s existing non-discrimination laws. The vote banned employers or housing providers from discriminating against prospective employees or tenants because they have had, or plan to have an abortion, or because they use contraception.

The governor also stressed health and safety regulations for medical facilities.

“I also believe that we should have common-sense health and safety standards in all medical facilities. A court decision from earlier this year weakened our state’s health standards in abortion clinics. So, we’re also proposing some basic, common-sense standards to keep Missourians safe. We’re proposing, for example, that abortion clinics should have an annual safety inspection. We’re proposing that these clinics should have a plan for complications.”

Greitens is referring to a federal judge’s decision in April to invalidate a Missouri law to enact stricter medical standards at the state’s abortion clinics, citing a Supreme Court decision on a similar law in Texas. The law would have held facilities that provide abortions to the same standards as other surgical outpatient centers.

That would mean abortion clinics must have halls and doorways wide enough to accommodate emergency personnel and equipment; separate male and female changing rooms for personnel; and a recovery room with sufficient space for at least four beds.

Opponents of the law said that forced the closure of clinics that could not meet the standards.

Mo. Attorney General Josh Hawley has vowed to appeal the decision.

The governor also said his administration is also proposing “a fix” to prevent abortion providers from interfering with emergency responders.

“If a woman needs help, abortion clinics shouldn’t be able to tell an ambulance to come slowly–to not use their lights and sirens–or to go around to the back gate, just because they are worried that an ambulance arriving might make their abortion clinic look bad.”

Greitens said the legislative session with begin on Monday.

Missouri Right to Life issued a statement in support of the governor’s announcement.

Missouri Right to Life is pleased that Governor Greitens has seen the urgent need to call a special session of the legislature to pass legislation to protect women, unborn babies as well as the religious liberties of faith communities from all denominations to prevent them from being forced to participate in abortion.

While these bills failed to pass during the regular session, Governor Greitens has stepped forward to bring them back for passage by the pro-life majorities in our House and Senate.