The issue came up during a trial over a proposed ballot measure that would let voters decide in 2024 whether to amend the state constitution to guarantee abortion rights.
Abortions were almost completely banned in Missouri following the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. There are exceptions for medical emergencies, but not for cases of rape or incest.
Supporters are trying to put a proposed amendment before voters next year that would protect abortion rights and pregnant women, as well as access to birth control.
But the effort stalled in April because of a spat between Auditor Scott Fitzpatrick and newly appointed Attorney General Andrew Bailey, who argues that the cost could be far greater than what his Republican peer estimated.
ACLU of Missouri lawyer Tony Rothert told Beetem on Wednesday that his clients at the abortion rights campaign are stuck in limbo because the two officeholders are at an impasse, and that the campaign can’t begin collecting voter signatures without an official fiscal note.