search
Sections List
American Journal News

Missouri voters could restore abortion rights in 2024

Four states — California, Kentucky, Michigan, Vermont — voted in favor of abortion rights in November 2022, joining voters in Kansas that did the same in August.

By Associated Press - March 12, 2023
Share
Pro-abortion rights rally in Missouri
Rabbis and supporters from around the country rally to protect abortion rights, Nov. 9, 2022, in Clayton, Missouri. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri voters could decide on whether to restore abortion rights in the state if constitutional amendments made public Thursday make it to the 2024 ballot.

The proposals would amend Missouri’s Constitution to protect abortion rights and pregnant women, as well as access to birth control.

Currently, most abortions are outlawed in the state. There are exceptions for medical emergencies, but not for cases of rape or incest.

The Missouri proposals are backed by a new group called Missourians for Constitutional Freedom, which has hired at least one Missouri Democratic strategist. The group and its treasurer did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Missouri’s Republican-led Legislature crafted a law, signed by Republican Gov. Mike Parson in 2019, to ban most abortions, in case the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. The law took effect last year, following the court’s decision to end constitutional protections for abortion.

Several coalitions of lawmakers, including a top Republican donor, tried to put the law to a public vote in 2019. But Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, widely considered a top candidate for Missouri governor in 2024, initially rejected the petitions until a court forced him to approve them.

Advocates ultimately gave up on efforts to put the law to a public vote, accusing Ashcroft of dragging his feet in handling the proposals and leaving them with the impossible task of collecting the roughly 100,000 voter signatures needed in just two weeks.

Ashcroft also will play a role in the fate of Missouri’s pending constitutional amendments. His office is in charge of writing summaries of the proposals, which are used as voter guides.

Once Ashcroft and other elected officials finish the summary and a fiscal analysis, advocates can start collecting the voter signatures required to get the proposal on the ballot.

Abortion-rights supporters in Missouri are the latest to go directly to voters in hopes of restoring rights that were lost after Roe fell.

Kansas voters in August sent a resounding message about their desire to protect abortion rights by rejecting a ballot measure to add language to the Kansas Constitution stating that it does not grant the right to abortion.

Abortion-rights supporters won in the four states where access was on the ballot in November, as voters enshrined it into the state constitution in battleground Michigan as well as blue California and Vermont — and dealt a defeat to an anti-abortion measure in deep-red Kentucky.

Ohio advocates submitted ballot proposals in February to establish “a fundamental right to reproductive freedom” with “reasonable limits.”

Missouri’s proposed constitutional amendments would allow the Republican-led Legislature and state agencies to put some restrictions on abortion.

But limits on abortion would only be allowed “if it is for the limited purpose and has the limited effect of improving or maintaining the health of a person seeking care, is consistent with widely accepted clinical standards of practice and evidence-based medicine, and does not infringe on that person’s autonomous decision-making,” the amendment states.

Penalties for both patients seeking reproductive-related care and medical providers would be outlawed.

Meanwhile, Republican state lawmakers this year are focused on raising the bar to amend the state Constitution from a simple majority vote to at least 60%, which could make it harder to pass the abortion-rights proposals.

Republican lawmakers have been trying for years to crack down on initiative petitions, which have been used to enact policies that the Republican-led Legislature either avoided dealing with or opposed. For example, a 2020 citizen-led ballot initiative forced the state to expand Medicaid coverage, despite years of resistance from Republicans.

Other efforts by abortion-rights advocates to lift Missouri’s ban on the procedure include a lawsuit filed in January by religious leaders who support abortion rights. They argue that lawmakers openly invoked their religious beliefs while drafting the measure and thereby imposed those beliefs on others who don’t share them. The lawsuit is pending.


AJ News
Get the latest news here first.

Tai News

Newsletter
Read More
AJ News
Latest
Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

By Jesse Valentine - February 26, 2024
Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

By Jesse Valentine - February 09, 2024
Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

By Annmarie Timmins, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 31, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

By Jesse Valentine - January 17, 2024
A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

By Bonnie Fuller - January 10, 2024
Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - January 08, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

By Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 04, 2024
Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

By Jesse Valentine - December 22, 2023
Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

By - December 15, 2023
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

By Jesse Valentine - December 07, 2023
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

By Jesse Valentine - December 05, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - November 30, 2023
Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

By Jesse Valentine - November 06, 2023
Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

By Jesse Valentine - November 03, 2023
Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

By Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi Today - October 24, 2023
Follow the money: Tim Sheehy takes thousands from drug company lobbyists

Follow the money: Tim Sheehy takes thousands from drug company lobbyists

By Jesse Valentine - February 29, 2024
Judge behind Alabama embryo ruling has ties to Ted Cruz

Judge behind Alabama embryo ruling has ties to Ted Cruz

By Jesse Valentine - February 29, 2024
Telehealth abortions on the rise since Dobbs, new report shows

Telehealth abortions on the rise since Dobbs, new report shows

By Sofia Resnick, States Newsroom - February 28, 2024
Utah lawmakers want to repeal abortion clinic ban hoping it will speed up trigger law case

Utah lawmakers want to repeal abortion clinic ban hoping it will speed up trigger law case

By Katie McKellar, Utah News Dispatch - February 27, 2024
Republican Bernie Moreno opposes existence of minimum wage

Republican Bernie Moreno opposes existence of minimum wage

By Jesse Valentine - February 23, 2024