“I believe that we need to defend life and promote a culture of life here in the state of Missouri. … I’m proud to support women, the lives of mothers, their children, and the innocent unborn.” With these words, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens announced Wednesday afternoon that he is calling a special session of the legislature. The session will focus on passing several laws to protect women and children that began in the Missouri House this year. Gov. Greitens stated that the Senate “failed” to complete the necessary work that Missourians deserve to have finished.
I’m proud to support life—the lives of mothers, their children, and the innocent unborn. WATCH our call for a pro-life special session. pic.twitter.com/kELtCNrdKC
— Eric Greitens (@EricGreitens) June 7, 2017
Gov. Greitens explained that his pro-life ethic springs from his past, where he saw children who were “orphans from war and genocide” in Cambodia, street children in Bolivia, and children who were being cared for in a home started by Mother Theresa.
Discrimination Against Pregnancy Centers in Missouri
The governor clarified the wide-ranging work that pregnancy centers do to benefit women, children, and families in need, saying that there are “few finer examples than the work that pregnancy care centers do across our state.” He explained that these centers “work with pregnant women and new moms, they offer newborn children food and clothing, they offer free prenatal care and ultrasounds, and they help women to find housing, and even to pay for utilities, they help with adoption when needed and protect women from domestic abuse. They even do job training and help women find jobs to support their new families.”
However, Gov. Greitens also explained that these centers “can’t work the way they’re supposed to” in St. Louis, due to a law the city enacted. Known as an “abortion sanctuary city,” St. Louis is discriminating against pregnancy centers, and many in the state believe they will eventually be banned from the city. Under the abortion sanctuary law, landlords could be forced to rent their properties to abortion facilities, and employers (including pregnancy centers) who did not want to hire abortion advocates could be punished.
A law proposed in the Missouri House would fix this discrimination against employers and property owners with pro-life beliefs. “We’re calling a special session to support the people doing this vital work to help women and children,” Gov. Greitens said.
Dangerous Conditions at St. Louis Planned Parenthood
He also discussed the need for “commonsense health and safety standards in all medical facilities,” and stated he was “proposing some basic, commonsense standards to keep Missourians safe,” including an annual inspection for all abortion facilities, requiring the facilities to have a plan for complications, and stopping abortion facilities from “interfering with emergency responders.”
This has become a huge and constant problem at the Planned Parenthood in St. Louis, where a woman has been transported by ambulance from the abortion facility every six weeks, on average, since 2009. The St. Louis Planned Parenthood has also received multiple Statement of Deficiency Reports from state health inspectors. Over half of the violations “related to failure to provide a safe and sanitary environment.” In January, Live Action News reported that “inspections ‘took place in 2009, 2013, 2015, and 2016’ but 61 percent of the 210 incidents occurred just last year, in 2016.”
Gov. Greitens stated: “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’re worried that an ambulance arriving might make their abortion clinic look back.”
The governor’s information comes from documented activity at the St. Louis Planned Parenthood. A special committee in the Missouri Senate investigated in 2016 and discovered a series of dangerous and concerning activity that has no signs of stopping:
“If it becomes necessary to call 911, [PPSLR] staff is instructed to request ‘no sirens’ be used by the ambulance. Staff is further instructed not to tell paramedics that the emergency call related to an abortion. They are instructed only to give general demographic information and a vague summary of the person’s condition info such as ‘patient in her 20s…bleeding but stable. …
Staff is also told to keep EMS out of the procedure room (unless necessary) and use a physical banner to shield patients being loaded into an ambulance from the view of picketers. …
Clearly the inability to use sirens on an emergency vehicle is likely to delay the arrival of paramedics. Refusing to give EMS necessary information as they rush to assist a critical patient shows a great callousness to the welfare of the woman in need and could very well conflict with the ability to administer proper care.”