Statement attributed to Tony Rothert, Acting Executive Director, ACLU of Missouri

Today, the Western District Court of Appeals upheld the constitutional right of Missourians to veto a newly enacted law by referendum. The court ruled that Secretary of State John Ashcroft acted illegally in his rejection of the referendum petition challenging Missouri’s eight-week ban on abortion and ordered the Secretary to allow signature collection to move forward.

“The Missouri Legislature and Secretary Ashcroft tried to block two constitutional rights- the right of the people to challenge a state law through referendum and the right of the people to receive an abortion,” says Tony Rothert, Legal Director for the ACLU of Missouri.  “Blocking the ballot box was a cowardly move designed to silence the people’s voice. We are pleased with the court’s decision and will evaluate next steps in ensuring this law does not go into effect.”

Politicians are not above the will of the people. That is why we have elections and that is why they must confront HB 126, Missouri’s extreme anti-abortion law that bans abortion after eight weeks.

Once ballot language is issued by Secretary Ashcroft, supporters will have until August 28 to collect 100,000 signatures in six congressional districts. We urge supporters to call Secretary Ashcroft’s office to encourage him to act promptly: 573-751-4936.