Governor: St. Louis part of 'Abortion Sanctuary City movement'

Missouri Governor Eric Grietens posted to Facebook to call people to take a stand against abortion in response to St. Louis’ new addition to its anti-discrimination clause. Credit: KMOV

ST. LOUIS ( -- Missouri Governor Eric Greitens posted to Facebook to call people to take a stand against abortion in response to St. Louis’ new addition to its anti-discrimination clause.

The post refers to St. Louis’ Board Bill 203 which was signed into law last week.

It protects women from employment or housing discrimination as result of being pregnant, using contraception, having an abortion and/or using IVF, according to 15th Ward Alderwoman and bill sponsor Megan Green.

Green said the city is being proactive becoming just the third city nationwide to add women’s reproductive decisions to a non-discrimination clause.

News 4 asked Green what she thought of the Governor’s Facebook post.

“I read the Facebook post and the first thing I thought was he either didn’t read or was not appropriately briefed on what we actually passed. He talked specifically about crisis pregnancy centers, and the bill makes no mention of that,” said Green.

The Governor’s Office said it disagrees and that the Governor does understand the bill. They stressed that the Governor wants people to know that there’s other resources out there, citing the social media post, which states the budget includes $6 million for non-profit “alternatives to abortion” clinics.

Grietens’ post states: “We need to send a clear message: the people of Missouri do not support Abortion Sanctuary Cities.”

Green said debates like this will likely become more common over who has control between local, state or federal governments.

“As a city we have to be ready to make sure we’re advocating for the voices here in our community even if Jefferson City or Washington DC doesn’t,” said Green.

St. Louis is the third city nationwide to add reproductive decisions to non-discrimination polices, following Washington D.C. and Boston.

There are a number of divided opinions on this issue.

Bridget VanMeans with ThriVe St. Louis said:"Of course, we are thrilled that Governor Grietens has publicly affirmed the vitally important work of the Pregnancy Resource Centers in Missouri. Every woman in Missouri should be empowered and equipped to have authentic choice...that's what real choice is all about. Why would any city officials, let alone the Mayor want "abortion" as the overarching brand for our spectacular city? BB203 is an ill conceived and dysfunctional bill and I am proud of the Governor for speaking up against it! He knows what every person with common decency knows. That it is an outrageous politicization of a deeply sensitive & difficult issue.” Mary M. Kogut, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri said:“We believe our patients and all St. Louisans deserve to make personal decisions about their reproductive health without interference from their boss or landlord. The legislation passed by the Board of Aldermen and signed by Mayor Slay protects individuals from discrimination in employment or housing based on their private decisions about pregnancy, in-vitro fertilization, contraception, and abortion.”The Archdiocese of St. Louis released a statement from the Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis: (in part)“Let me be perfectly clear: the Archdiocese of St. Louis and its affiliated agencies and ministries will not comply with Board Bill 203. We will take legal action to defend our religious liberty, and the constitutionally-protected right of religious liberty of businesses, individuals, and other non-faith-based organizations who will be hampered as this oppressive law is imposed upon them.”Copyright 2017 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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