House Progressive Caucus Statement re Gov Greitens Calls Special Session to Restrict Abortion Rights

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – JUNE 8, 2017

GOVERNOR CALLS SPECIAL SESSION TO RESTRICT ABORTION RIGHTS

Disagreeing with judicial rulings which uphold legal reproductive rights is no special emergency and a horrific waste of taxpayer dollars

(Jefferson City, MO) – Yesterday, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens issued his official proclamation for a second emergency special session Monday, June 12th, this time to further restrict abortion providers and overrule a St. Louis reproductive anti-discrimination ordinance.

The House Progressive Caucus finds this additional special session call punitive and an irresponsible waste of taxpayer dollars to address GOP sponsored legislation which failed to pass in the regular session with a GOP majority.

In 2016 the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling by a vote of 5-3 striking down targeted regulations of abortion providers (TRAP laws). Their ruling stated that unnecessary regulations “provides few, if any, health benefits for women, poses a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions, and constitutes an “undue burden” on their constitutional right to do so.” On May 2nd the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri issued a preliminary injunction of Missouri’s illegal TRAP laws. Instead of repealing these unconstitutional statutes, Governor Greitens is pushing for additional illegal restrictions at the estimated legislative cost of $20,000 per day.

In addition, his special session call includes an attempt to overrule St. Louis City Ordinance 70459 which protects women from discrimination in their private reproductive decisions. Another example of government intrusion, Governor Greitens is ignoring the ordinance, particularly the sections which clearly exempt religious entities and organizations.

Disagreeing with high court rulings and local anti-discrimination ordinances is no good reason to call a second costly special session. Pressure from anti-women lobbyists and disgruntled state senators whose bills did not previously pass are irresponsible excuses to waste state money.

The majority of Missourians and the House Progressive Caucus strongly oppose the Governor’s continuous attacks on women’s private legal reproductive choices.

We will not stand silently or idly by.

We will stand up for all Missouri women to make their personal reproductive choice as protected by the U. S. Constitution.

State Rep. Stacey Newman, House Progressive Caucus Chair, 87th District – St. Louis

State Rep. Crystal Quade, 132nd District – Springfield

State Rep. Cora Faith Walker, 74th District – Ferguson

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