ACLU sues Missouri secretary of state for denying abortion bill referendum

ACLU sues Missouri secretary of state for denying abortion bill referendum
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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Missouri filed a lawsuit Thursday against Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft for rejecting a referendum application to overturn the state’s new abortion law, according to The Kansas City Star.

In rejecting the application, Ashcroft cited an emergency clause in the bill that took effect immediately after Gov. Mike Parson (R) signed the measure into law last month, the newspaper reported.

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The clause, Ashcroft said, requires some minors to tell both of their parents before they get an abortion and took effect the moment Parson signed the bill. The rest of the law doesn’t take effect until Aug. 28.

While the state’s constitution allows anyone to challenge a law by referendum, it has limitations when a statute is considered “necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace” and “health or safety,” the Star reported.

Ultimately, Ashcroft said, the courts will make the final ruling.

The ACLU of Missouri responded by saying, “We will see you in court.”

The legislation signed into law last month bans all abortions after eight weeks, with no exceptions for rape or incest.

Missouri joins a number of states facing legal challenges to recently passed abortion measures.

It is also waiting to hear whether it will become the first state with no abortion clinics.

The license for the state's one remaining clinic had been set to expire on May 31, but a judge issued a temporary order keeping it open until a ruling occurs.