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Missouri judge to decide ballot wording for abortion measure

Cole County Circuit Court Judge Jon Beetem at a 2018 hearing The Jefferson City News-Tribune via Associated Press/Photo by Julie Smith

Missouri judge to decide ballot wording for abortion measure

Cole County Judge Jon Beetem heard arguments Monday from the Missouri Attorney General and the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri to decide the wording of a pro-abortion measure on the 2024 election ballot. Missourians for Constitutional Freedom submitted 11 proposed amendments in March to enshrine access to abortion into the state constitution. If approved by voters, they would supersede state laws that currently protect unborn babies from abortion except in cases of medical emergency. The process required Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft to draft a summary of the amendment for citizens to sign their support. The ACLU has challenged Ashcroft’s summary, arguing that his language was misleading and prejudicial.

When can we expect Beetem’s decision? Beetem acknowledged that his ruling would be appealed by one side or the other. He said he’s hoping to give a quick verdict so the case “can go wherever you want to go next, depending on who’s unhappy.”

Dig deeper: Read Carolina Lumetta’s report in WORLD Magazine on the efforts in Arizona to include abortion on the 2024 election ballot.

Christina Grube

Christina Grube is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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