Will Governor Greitens Guarantee He Won’t Allow Women to Be Fired for Taking Birth Control?
Governor Greitens, NARAL Missouri challenges you to pledge you will never block the St. Louis law that protects women from discrimination for their reproductive health decisions.
By Alison Dreith, Executive Director, NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri
July 6, 2017
The Missouri State Legislature is now on week three of its special session to enact new laws to restrict a woman’s access to reproductive healthcare, including abortion. Governor Eric Greitens, who called this session to order, is wasting about $20,000 taxpayer money each day the legislature spends in this session, which is aimed at shaming women and restricting access to abortion.
Governor Greitens kicked off the special session by blasting a St. Louis law which protects women from being fired or evicted from their apartments for their reproductive healthcare decisions.
At a rally before the special session, Greitens doubled down on his opposition to the ordinance:
With this St. Louis law in place, if a woman’s boss sees her post something on social media about her birth control, or her landlord runs into her on the way back from the pharmacy with a pill pack in tow, she can’t be fired or denied housing if her boss or landlord disagrees with her decision to take birth control. This applies for a host of reproductive healthcare decisions, not just birth control.
Greitens has repeatedly mischaracterized the St. Louis ordinance by implying that it dictates who an employer can or cannot hire. In reality, the ordinance protects employees and tenants from being discriminated against for reasons related to their reproductive health decisions.
The governor and the anti-choice state legislature have expressed their displeasure with this St. Louis law time and time again We have taken Gov. Greitens at his word when he says he wants to undo it, that he’s “leaving every option on the table,” and that there were many issues he’d consider adding to a special session:
“We’re working with legislators, faith leaders, women’s advocates, and anyone who values life to fight back against this Abortion Sanctuary City movement” -Governor Greitens, Feb, 18, 2017
This past March, Greitens vowed to fight against the ordinance:
From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “‘You can always count on me to protect the most vulnerable, the lives of the unborn,’ Greitens said during a Lincoln Days event in Springfield, Mo., last week. ‘That’s why you’ve seen we’ve taken a strong position that we will not allow St. Louis, Mo., to become an abortion sanctuary city. Not on my watch.’
“Some lawmakers are pushing measures that would effectively nullify the updated ordinance on the grounds that it inhibits the First Amendment rights of alternatives to abortion agencies, or clinics that counsel women against abortions.”
These statements and actions to harm women put Gov. Greitens in a class with other anti-choice politicians, like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who tried to block a DC law that protects women from being fired for their reproductive healthcare decisions; Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who implied he supported Sen. Cruz’s opposition to the DC law; and President Donald Trump, who recently signed an executive order that signaled his intent to gut the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive-coverage policy.
It’s not just that Governor Greitens supports blocking the St. Louis anti-discrimination law. He’s also actively working in this special session to put unconstitutional and medically unnecessary restrictions on the only remaining clinic in the state that provides abortion care.
Governor Greitens is certainly fired up about the assertion some news outlets have made, saying bills in the special session include a preemption of the St. Louis ordinance. So why doesn’t he just come out and guarantee he won’t block it and the protections for women included in it? Governor Greitens, NARAL Missouri challenges you to pledge you will never block the St. Louis law that protects women from discrimination for their reproductive health decisions. Put the rumors to rest if you’re so worried about them.