St. Louis Alderman concerned over Gov. Greitens call for special session on abortion policies

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ST. LOUIS – Missouri Governor Eric Greitens is calling for a special session for the second-time next week.

This time the focus will be on abortion policies and a controversial recently updated St. Louis City anti-discrimination ordinance.

In the announcement, Greitens said that lawmakers will discuss ways to protect the lives of the unborn and women's health.

But Alderwoman Megan Ellyia Green of the 15th ward said that the governor's latest announcement doesn't explain exactly what he is trying to do.

"I think we are all confused at this time," said Green, "Governor Greitens is from St. Louis City and you would think he would know where the pulse of St. Louis City is. We are a city that respects women and values women."

Back in February, Green sponsored a bill that would add reproductive health decisions to the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance. It passed with a 17-10 vote.

"That says that a woman cannot be fired or denied housing simply because she had an abortion, used contraception, had IVF or even carries a pregnancy to term," Green explained.

Green said she believes there's a lot of stigma around such issues and worries that the state could possibly step in and nullify the ordinance.

"What we are seeing are pre-emption go a step further and they are actually becoming nullification bills and they are taking away things that we have already passed and protections that we have already given," she said.

Greitens further announced, the session will focus on protecting pregnancy resource centers and proposals for common-sense health and safety standards in abortion clinics.

"What we know about crisis pregnancy centers in St. Louis is that they don't employ medical professionals," Green said in response, "they give out a lot of misleading information to women about their reproductive health care choices and the only reason most of them exist is to ensure women do not have access to abortion."

In a statement to Fox 2 from Mayor Lyda Krewsen, the office said:

"The City of St. Louis doesn't support discrimination of any kind. We don't discriminate based on whether someone is pregnant or uses birth control."

"I think the next battle we are going to see is not going to be so much between states and federal government but states and local municipalities who think their state doesn't live up to their own expectations," Green said.

The St. Louis Archdiocese that has already filed a lawsuit against the city's newly updated anti-discrimination ordinance also sent a statement into FOX 2 via the Missouri Catholic Conference:

"The Missouri Catholic Conference (MCC) applauds Governor Greitens’ decision to call a special session to address the disturbing “abortion sanctuary city” ordinance passed in St. Louis City earlier this year, and to further address abortion clinic safety standards. “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. “It is also vital that clinics performing abortions uphold modern medical safety standards like any other outpatient clinic would. We appreciate the governor’s call for an extraordinary session to bring the legislature back to Jefferson City to debate these important concerns."