ACLU-MO files Referendum Petition to stop MO’s anti-abortion law
May 28, 2019 – 12:45pm
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.”
HB 126 can be submitted to the voters for disapproval. In the Missouri Constitution:
Reservation of power to enact and reject laws.
Section 49. The people reserve power to propose and enact or reject laws and amendments to the constitution by the initiative, independent of the general assembly, and also reserve power to approve or reject by referendum any act of the general assembly, except as hereinafter provided.
Section 52(a). A referendum may be ordered (except as to laws necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety, and laws making appropriations for the current expenses of the state government, for the maintenance of state institutions and for the support of public schools) either by petitions signed by five percent of the legal voters in each of two-thirds of the congressional districts in the state, or by the general assembly, as other bills are enacted. Referendum petitions shall be filed with the secretary of state not more than ninety days after the final adjournment of the session of the general assembly which passed the bill on which the referendum is demanded.
Veto power–elections–effective date.
Section 52(b). The veto power of the governor shall not extend to measures referred to the people. All elections on measures referred to the people shall be had at the general state elections, except when the general assembly shall order a special election. Any measure referred to the people shall take effect when approved by a majority of the votes cast thereon, and not otherwise. This section shall not be construed to deprive any member of the general assembly of the right to introduce any measure.
And in RSMo §116.
HB 126 and HB 127: catering to their single issue base (December 3, 2018)
Gov. Mike Parson (r): Alabama, hold my beer… (May 15, 2019)
Gov. Mike Parson (r): New York is shorthand for what? (May 16, 2019)
Medieval (May 17, 2019)
HB 126: the elephant in the womb (May 24, 2019)
HB 126: “…here for the ratio” (May 25, 2016)
Missouri: Medieval (May 28, 2019)