A coalition of pro-choice advocates has officially launched its signature gathering campaign to “kick politicians out of the exam room.”

The group, known as Missourians for Constitutional Freedom, is seeking to overturn the state’s near total abortion ban. The effort is expected to include limitations for lawmakers to regulate the procedure after the fetus is viable.

The team effort is a Missouri-led group including the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, Planned Parenthood, and Abortion Action Missouri. It begins gathering signatures after a lengthy court battle with Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, a Republican running for governor. The legal fight was over the wording used to summarize what the measure would do.

“Politicians in Jefferson City are endangering the lives and wellbeing of the patients I care for, plain and simple. Missouri’s cruel and restrictive ban on abortion is tying the hands of doctors and preventing necessary care,” said Dr. Iman Alsaden, advisor to Missourians for Constitutional Freedom and chief medical officer, Planned Parenthood Great Plains. “Today, Missourians are taking a critical step to make their own medical decisions and kick politicians out of the exam room.”

Time will tell if enough signatures can be gathered by the deadline. To get on this year’s election ballot, petitioners must collect more than 170,000 valid signatures by May.

“Pregnant Missourians are in danger – facing some of the highest rates of maternal mortality and without treatment options for life-threatening pregnancy complications. OBGYNs and maternity practices are packing up and moving away to avoid political harassment and criminalization,” a news release from the group said.

The campaign is one of two pro-choice pursuits during this election year. Another signature-gathering campaign has already begun in an effort to add rape and incest exceptions to Missouri’s abortion regulations.

GOP operative Jamie Corley is behind the effort. She is also attempting to legalize abortions up to 12 weeks.

Copyright 2024, Missourinet.