With only one abortion clinic remaining open in the Show Me State, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) wants the people of Missouri to vote on a new abortion law and take away protections for babies with heartbeats.
The law in Missouri bans abortions on or beyond the eighth week of pregnancy, and in the case of a minor seeking an abortion, the law requires consent from both of her parents. And because lawmakers made this an emergency clause, the law took effect as soon as Gov. Mike Parson (R-Mo.) signed the legislation.
Under Missouri law, there is no right for a referendum when the law is addressing an emergency.
However, the ACLU is arguing that parental consent is not actually an emergency.
A three-judge panel of the state's Court of Appeals agreed and ruled that Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft (R-Mo.) was "without authority" to reject petitions to put the law on the 2020 ballot – on constitutional grounds.
Missouri Right to Life Executive Director Susan Klein stands behind Ashcroft 100 percent.
"The Secretary of State made his decision based on legal fact, and we strongly support this bill," Klein proclaimed.
Klein explained, in essence, that the ACLU is trying to stop a bill that protects babies who have heartbeats.
"We will fight the ACLU's attempt for us to be able to save babies that have heartbeats," she asserted.
In order to get a public vote, the ACLU needs to collect more than 100,000 signatures. This collection could begin later this month – and is not as easy a task as one might think.
"They can't just collect signatures in one area or two areas," Klein pointed out. "They have to collect signatures around the state, so obviously, Missouri – when you go into the rural areas outside of the metropolitan areas – is very, very conservative, and we're going to be educating the public about what this initiative petition drive would actually do … which is basically to prevent our being able to save babies that have heartbeats from the horrors of the abortion."