Friday, June 09, 2017

Missouri Governor Calls Special Legislative Session To Enact Pro-Life Bills

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens on Wednesday issued a Proclamation (full text) calling a Special Session of the state legislature for June 12 in order to enact legislation to respond to two pro-abortion developments.  One was the enactment by the City of St. Louis of of an Ordinance barring discrimination in employment and housing because of reproductive health decisions or pregnancy status. (See prior posting.)  The Governor's Proclamation states that the St. Louis Ordinance "undermines pregnancy care centers that provide critical resources for women seeking counseling and support for alternatives to abortion," and calls on the legislature to preempt legislation like that enacted by St. Louis.

The second development triggering the call for a Special Session of the legislature is the federal district court's decision last month in Comprehensive Health of Panned Parenthood Great Plains v. Williams, (WD MO, April 19, 2017) which preliminarily enjoined state law requirements that doctors who perform abortions have hospital admitting privileges, and that abortion clinics meet requirements for ambulatory surgical centers. The Governor's Proclamation contends that the effect of the ruling is to eliminate meaningful licensure of abortion clinics and the Proclamation calls for enactment of a number of new provisions on licensure of abortion clinics.

The Governor issued a press release and a Facebook video explaining his action in more detail, saying in part: "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."