Missouri judge removes pro-life language for abortion ballot summaries

by ian

A Missouri judge is rewriting ballot summaries for several proposed amendments that would enshrine abortion in the state constitution.

Judge Jon Beetem is stripping 13 phrases from six petition summaries written by Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, who is running for governor next year on a pro-life platform.

Those phrases include things like “unborn child” and “the right to life,” but also stronger language, such as asking voters if they want to allow “dangerous and unregulated abortions until live birth.” Beteem says the language is “argumentative” and ignores other aspects of the amendments.

The new summaries now ask voters if they want to “establish a right to make decisions about reproductive health care, including abortion and contraceptives” without government interference.

Missouri currently has in place a near-total ban on abortion. But should the initiatives receive enough signatures, that could change when voters head to the polls next year.