Missouri governor leads anti-abortion rally

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ The Latest on Missouri’s special legislative session on abortion policy (all times local):

4:55 p.m.

Missouri Republican Gov. Eric Greitens is leading a Capitol rally to show support for a special session he called on abortion.

Greitens spoke to a crowd of roughly 200 people Wednesday as lawmakers considered new restrictions on abortion, including annual clinic inspections. Many carried signs that read “protect life” and “I support women’s health.”

Spokesman Parker Briden says Greitens’ office organized the event.

Greitens says he wants legislators to undo a St. Louis ordinance that bans discrimination in housing and employment based on abortion and pregnancies. He says the policy could force pregnancy resource centes that oppose abortion to hire workers who support abortion rights.

About 200 abortion-rights supporters rallied earlier Wednesday at the Capitol in protest of the special session. Protesters taped signs reading “trust women” to the governor’s office door.

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1 p.m.

Pro-abortion rights supporters are rallying at the Missouri Capitol in opposition to Republican proposals to further regulate the procedure.

Roughly 200 people gathered in the Rotunda on Wednesday as the Republican-led Senate prepared to take up legislation that would, among other things, require annual inspections for abortion clinics and nullify a St. Louis ordinance prohibiting discrimination in hiring or housing based on reproductive decisions.

Groups such as Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri and others called the rally the “People’s Special Session” and said there are other issues lawmakers could address that matter more to residents.

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens called lawmakers back to Jefferson City for the second time this summer for a special session focused solely on abortion.

Greitens is leading an anti-abortion rally Wednesday at the Capitol.

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10:45 a.m.

A Missouri Senate leader says a bipartisan call to investigate the Republican governor won’t advance during an ongoing special session.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Kehoe said Wednesday that his ethics committee won’t have a hearing on the proposal because the focus of the special session is abortion.

Two Democrats and four Republicans are calling for a legislative investigation of Gov. Eric Greitens.

The senators say among other issues, they want a legislative investigation of campaign use of a donor list from a charity that Greitens’ helped found and that wasn’t originally listed in campaign finance reports. Greitens’ campaign was fined for failing to report use of the donor list. The chaity helps veterans transition to the private-sector through volunteer work.

Greitens’ spokesman Parker Briden says the governor isn’t bothered by “temper tantrums.”

Kehoe says the call for an investigation could be taken up again during the next regularly scheduled session, which starts in January.

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12:10 a.m.

The Missouri Senate could debate proposals to ramp up state abortion regulations as early as Wednesday.

Lawmakers are considering requiring annual inspections for abortion clinics during a special session on abortion called by Republican Gov. Eric Greitens.

He says a federal judge’s ruling that struck down some of the state’s abortion laws in part prompted his decision to call lawmakers back to the Capitol.

Other proposals up for debate include a measure that would nullify a St. Louis ordinance that bans discrimination in housing and employment based on “reproductive health decisions,” such as abortion or pregnancies.

Greitens on Wednesday is leading an anti-abortion rally at the Capitol. Abortion-rights activists also are staging a demonstration.

A vote on the legislation could come Wednesday, but pushback is expected from Democratic senators.