Ashcroft's move to block abortion referendum triggers ACLU lawsuit

Kansas City's Morning News
June 07, 2019 - 6:42 am

Jacob Moscovitch - Getty Images News


The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit over Missouri's new abortion law, but it is not about the constitutionality of the law itself.

The lawsuit is over whether voters can overturn the law, which bans most abortions beyond eight weeks of pregnancy. The ACLU filed suit after Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft announced referendums to force a vote do not apply because the legislature labeled the law an emergency. Ashcroft is the state's top election official. Typically legislators can make  suggestions in cases like this, but the court has the final say.

"The Supreme Court of Missouri has said since the 1920s that's a question for the court to decide," said David Achtenberg, law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

The state's argument for the law being an emergency is that unborn children are being murdered.

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