Supporters from across the state gathered Sunday for events aimed at gathering signatures to halt Missouri’s law banning abortion after eight weeks of gestation.
The law, which makes no exceptions for rape or incest, is set to take effect on Aug. 28.
In Kansas City, the event at Sidekicks Saloon, which was sponsored by the ACLU-Missouri, drew dozens of supporters and organizers. Community organizer Al Cousineau said the goal was to gather 100,000 signatures statewide.
“We’re going to be hitting the street, getting signatures to make sure that this ban does not go into effect, so that everyone in the state of Missouri has bodily autonomy,” Cousineau said.
The ACLU hopes to gather enough signatures for a ballot initiative to amend Missouri's Constitution, said Anderson Rasmussen, one of the activists at the event.
“So our goal is to protect our bodies not just for this year, not just for next year, but forever,” Rasmussen said.
Missouri Rep. Judy Morgan (D-Kansas City) said abortion access was both an equality and safety issue.
“I was around pre-Roe v. Wade. Women who had money could find another state, find another country to go have an abortion when they felt they wanted to do that,” Morgan said. “But those without means are going to go to basements, go to back alleys. In this day and age they are going to go on the internet and get some kind of concoction that will induce an abortion.”
Rallies were also held Sunday in St. Louis, Springfield, Columbia, and St. Charles.
Michelle Tyrene Johnson is a reporter at KCUR 89.3 and part of the public radio collaborative Sharing America, covering the intersection of race, identity and culture. This initiative, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, includes reporters in Kansas City, St. Louis, Hartford, Connecticut and Portland, Oregon. She can be contacted at email@example.com.