When the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning its 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade and its 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Justice Alito writing for the majority declared: “We therefore hold that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion. Roe and Casey must be overruled, and the authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives.”
Since the Dobbs decision, Missouri Right to Life has been working diligently to ensure that the protections for unborn babies and women stay in place in Missouri.
Some of our pro-life elected officials are fighting for truth in these battles. And pro-life Missourians are preparing to ensure that the general public knows the truth about what the passage of a pro-abortion initiative petition would do in Missouri.
In March, eleven pro-abortion initiative petitions (IPs) were filed with the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office (SOS) that seek to enshrine a “right” to abortion in our Missouri Constitution. In August, six additional pro-abortion IPs were filed by a different individual and are moving through the process. The IP is the process by which individuals can seek to put language on the ballot for voters to amend (change) our state’s Constitution. To do so, they must file their petition with the SOS and then collect enough signatures in support of their petition that meet our state’s statutory and Constitutional thresholds for such an effort. Some of these petitions are in the courts. However, if they move forward, pro-abortion forces will seek to gather signatures. If they get enough signatures throughout our state, their pro-abortion language would go on the November 2024 ballot, and, if it passes, it will cause a number of harmful effects as outlined at missourilife.org.
Those who support abortion through all 9 months of pregnancy will use deception as they seek to make Missouri an abortion sanctuary state by working to enshrine abortion in our Missouri Constitution through the initiative petition process. We are working to stop their life-destroying agenda.
Just a few preposterous positions of the pro-abortion promoters who disagreed with the Secretary of State’s truthful ballot summary language:
1. They say: Abortion is not dangerous.
Truth: Abortion kills the unborn child. Studies and testimonies from post-abortive women have reported the dangers and risks of abortion on women. Per statute, complication reports for chemical abortions are required to be submitted to our Missouri Department of Health.
2. They say: “Partial-birth abortion” is open to interpretation and no one knows what it really is.
Truth: “Partial-birth abortion” is exactly that. A baby is partially out of the mother in the birth canal and then the baby is killed in a barbaric way with brutal pain before being fully birthed.
3. They say: We have to get rid of laws that protect [Pregnancy Resource Centers] because they share “medically inaccurate” information.
Truth: They want to silence the life-affirming help and hope that Pregnancy Resource Centers [PRCs] offer women and children. Under the pro-abortion initiatives, PRCs might be forced to be licensed by the authorities and forced to refer for abortions.
4. They say: The words “Right to Life” are politically charged.
Truth: “Reproductive health” is not a true depiction of what they are after. They are after abortion on demand. We as a nation, and as a state, have declared from the beginning the self-evident truth that we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, and first among them is the Right to Life.
5. They say: We must protect the life of the mother.
6. Truth: A life of the mother exception is already currently in Missouri statute. Both surgical and chemical abortion of a “viable unborn child” is unlawful, except in the case of a medical emergency, which is defined in statute as “necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant woman” or “when continuation of the pregnancy will create a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function” (RSMo 188.030.1).
More facts about the pro-abortion language of these pro-abortion initiative petitions:
1. These pro-abortion initiative petitions would take away the right of the woman to sue the abortionist if she is harmed.
Fact: This is HARMFUL to women.
2. These pro-abortion initiative petitions would take away the right of the woman to sue anyone who has forced her to have an abortion.
Fact: This protects the rapist, the perpetrator of the crime of incest and the human sex trafficker. This is HARMFUL to women.
3. These pro-abortion initiative petitions take away the right of parental involvement and the ability for a parent to sue for harm to their child.
Fact: This protects the rapist, the perpetrator of the crime of incest, the human sex trafficker and the adult abuse of a minor. This is DANGEROUS to the life and health of a minor.
4. These pro-abortion initiative petitions would potentially allow for taxpayer funded abortions.
Fact: By not using language expressly prohibiting taxpayer funded abortions it leaves open the ability for taxpayer funding and/or subsidizing of the abortion industry.
When Judge Beetem re-wrote the truthful ballot language of the Secretary of State, he failed to give the public a true representation of what these pro-abortion initiatives would truly bring to Missouri if passed. These pro-abortion initiatives will enshrine in our Missouri Constitution the intentional killing of unborn children at any stage of development and protect perpetrators of rape, incest, human trafficking and abuse of women and minors. These pro-abortion initiatives are dangerous, harmful to women and Missouri families and should be defeated. We applaud Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft for appealing this decision to a higher court.
We must be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:9) in this battle as we defend the defenseless. Our motivation is moral, our testimony is truth, and our legacy is life. In the words of President Ronald Reagan: “Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid.”
Pray fervently, and, let us be of good courage as we work together to “Keep Missouri Pro-life”.
Executive Director, Missouri Right to Life