Abortion War Enters New Phase
Two new developments in abortion policy occurred yesterday…
· Post-Dispatch reported that Missouri’s only remaining abortion clinic was poised to close within the week. This drew national news coverage. Missouri would be the only state without access to the procedure.
· The ACLU announced it would gather signatures to put the new anti-abortion law to a referendum vote of Missourians in 2020. See the KCStar’s story here.
The bigger picture is that the battle over abortion policy in Missouri has entered a new phase. In the past decades Republicans have marched consistently in unison toward imposing tighter and tighter restrictions. Democrats have been playing defense in a never-ending series of strategic retreats.
These battles have been waged – for the most part – by the two poles of the debate: those who would outlaw all abortions and those who would allow unfettered access. This may now be changing as the issue is gaining urgency among a broader population.
No doubt, the impending closure of the only abortion clinic in the state is a great victory for pro-life forces.
But it is also, simultaneously, and an awakening gong for pro-choice voters, especially those for whom the issue has not been paramount. The incremental restrictions over the years have never moved them to action. An outright ban, and the shuttering of the final clinic may, however, mobilize this moderate middle.
Sensing this change, pro-choice forces are now poised to seize the offense for the first time in decades because they have a target: a ban with no exemptions, a state without access.
Missourians are generally pro-life, but they also do not favor a complete prohibition on abortion.
Following up on my nuggets yesterday…
· Steve Roberts Jr. officially launched his Senate 5 bid… “Today, I am announcing my candidacy, in the Democratic Primary, for Missouri State Senate. There can be no overstating how important our 2020 elections will be. Together, we can make it a turning point to Move Missouri Forward.”
· Multiple folks tell me that Rep. LaKeySha Bosley is too young to meet the constitutional age requirement of thirty to run for state senate.
· Post-Dispatch reporter Jack Suntrup confirms that Rep. Deb Lavender is jumping into Senate 15.
Ortwerth to Uganda
Joe Ortwerth, Executive Director of the Missouri Family Policy Council, bids farewell. “It has been my lifelong passion to fight for the sanctity of human life, the integrity of marriage and the family, and the principles of religious freedom. But after more than 45 years of service in public office and Christian advocacy, I will be retiring from public life here in Missouri. God has given me a joyous new calling to advance His Kingdom.
My wife Wendy and I have an exciting new assignment in this season of our marriage and family life. We are headed to the mission field in East Africa. We will be working with a Christian ministry that serves orphan children in Uganda. The purpose of this ministry is to raise these orphan children to be the future Christian leaders of their nation… At the same time, the Missouri Family Policy Council will be undergoing a transition over the next year. Missouri's Family Policy Council was established as a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. That corporation will cease operations this summer, and will be replaced by a new 501(c)4 organization to be called the Family Policy Alliance of Missouri. The new organization will continue to be an advocate for pro-life and pro-family values, and will retain its association with Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, and the Alliance Defending Freedom…”
Nichols for County Council
Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Kohler gives a rundown of the jockeying for the vacant seats on the St. Louis County Council. See it here. He includes a name I hadn’t heard before… former Rep. Mary Nichols is apparently interested in Sam Page’s seat.
Jason Noble, former KC Star Jeff City correspondent, who had signed on with Jason Kander, is now working for Elizabeth Warren in Iowa. See his twitter here.
Barry McCullough formed a candidate committee (Citizens For Barry Mccullough) to run for Commissioner Western District Clay County as a Republican.
Dave Berry, Travis Brown, Tom Dempsey, Deanna Hemphill, and Tracy King deleted Kingdom Principles Inc.
Sherry Doctorian deleted Missouri Landscape and Nursery Association.
Rodney Gray, Tami Holliday, and Susan Henderson Moore deleted Automated Health Systems, Inc.
James Harris deleted FWD.us.
Francis G. Slay added SirenGPS Inc.
CLEAN Missouri - $27,500 from Action Now Initiative.
Happy birthdays to Rep. Kevin Windham, Chris Dunn, Chuck Banks, Damon Porter and Glenn Klippenstein.