Dear Secretary Ashcroft,
On May 24, Governor Mike Parson signed into law one of the cruelest bans on abortion in the nation: House Bill 126. This dangerous bill criminalizes abortion at nearly every stage of pregnancy and includes zero exceptions for survivors of rape and incest.
House Bill 126 puts politicians at the center of a deeply personal decision that belongs to a pregnant person and those they trust most: their family, health care providers and faith community — not the government. This bill was designed with one goal in mind: To put Missouri at the front of a political race to overturn Roe v. Wade at the Supreme Court.
But when Missourians raised their voices to put this dangerous abortion ban to a vote of the people, there was one person stopping them: you.
Secretary Ashcroft, by deliberately refusing to do your job to provide ballot language for the people’s referendum, you have denied Missourians their constitutional right to protest House Bill 126 at the ballot box. Today, with less than one month before House Bill 126 is set to take effect on August 28, it is evident the people’s referendum will not be on the ballot and Missourians will not be allowed to vote.
But you know this — your sad and cynical delay was designed purposefully to silence the voice of the people and deprive them the opportunity to challenge this blatantly unconstitutional ban at the polls.
We, the undersigned, will not allow you to silence the pro-choice majority and willfully jeopardize the health and safety of millions of Missourians. We are committed to protecting every person’s constitutional right to referendum and their right to access legal abortion. As Missourians — from Kansas City, Columbia and Springfield to St. Louis and Cape Girardeau — we believe individuals making personal decisions about their body and future deserve to be treated with compassion and understanding, not shame and coercion. Together with the vast majority of Missourians who support access to legal abortion, we unite under one rallying cry: no abortion bans — not now, not ever.
Today and every day we will continue to fight for every person’s fundamental right to access legal abortion — and we won’t stop until we vote out every politician who gets in between a pregnant person and their right to make personal decisions about their life, body and destiny.
Today is a tipping point for reproductive freedom in Missouri. Join the No Bans on Choice Campaign and learn about future actions at YourChoiceMO.org.
American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri
Catholics for Choice
NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri
Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri
SEIU Missouri/Kansas State Council