ST. LOUIS — Missouri’s leading pro-choice group has come out against Amendment 3, saying the proposed cigarette tax plan could steer public funds to anti-choice groups as well as further impeding abortion access in the state.
“NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri supports women and families’ efforts to raise healthy kids. But Big Tobacco’s proposed amendment does more to advance a stealth agenda than to help Missouri families,” said NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri Executive Director Alison Dreith. “While it is being sold as a health care initiative, this ballot measure is actively being pushed by anti-choice leaders as a way to steer government money to groups that play politics with abortion. These ideologically driven groups lie to Missourians about their reproductive health care options and push a politically-charged agenda that has no business receiving public funding. Additionally, this ballot initiative gratuitously adds to existing restrictions on access to basic reproductive healthcare, needlessly targeting low-income women and communities of color. Missouri can do better.”
The initiative presents Missouri voters with a false choice; helping kids doesn’t require punishing women. The measure would require systematic discrimination against low-income women in our state constitution and restrict their ability to access reproductive healthcare, including abortion. Money generated from the cigarette tax would be available to so-called “crisis pregnancy centers,” fake abortion clinics that lie to and shame women in an attempt to limit their reproductive healthcare choices.
NARAL Missouri joins a growing number of groups opposing the measure, including the Missouri National Education Association, the American Federation of Teacher Local 420, the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association, and Missouri Cures among many others.