Jefferson City - The ACLU of Missouri submitted a referendum petition to the Missouri Secretary of State to be approved for circulation.

This is the first step to bring Missouri’s anti-abortion law before the voters. The referendum will need to be certified for circulation and then over 100,000 signatures will need to be gathered to place the issue on the ballot. Once the signatures are submitted, the law cannot go into effect until a statewide vote has been made. A simple majority vote will veto the law.

Missourians oppose ending legal abortion. The Missouri General Assembly, trying to outdo the misguided and extreme examples of anti-abortion politicians in Alabama, Ohio, Georgia, and Kentucky, has made its intention clear: it wants to ban all abortion. Preventing Missourians from accessing abortion after eight weeks, before some even know they are pregnant, is unconstitutional and dangerous.

Abortion access is healthcare. HB 126, the law that will be put before Missouri voters, would criminalize doctors who perform abortions and force pregnant individuals to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term, including in cases of rape and incest and even if the pregnancy is not viable or is risky for the woman.

“Failing to protect the right to an abortion violates the individual freedom of Missourians. HB 126 runs counter to our shared belief in autonomy and it has devastating health consequences for Missourians who become pregnant,” said Sara Baker, legislative and policy director with the ACLU of Missouri.

Passing an eight week abortion ban is an example of government overreach and disregard for the constitutional rights of Missourians. The ACLU of Missouri will continue to explore all options to stopping HB 126. 

“The Constitution gives pregnant individuals the right to make the decision whether to end a pregnancy,” said Tony Rothert, legal director of the ACLU of Missouri. “We will make sure that abortion remains legal in Missouri.”