Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft Blocking Missourians' Constitutional Rights

An Op Ed I wrote is in the St. Louis Post Dispatch today, discussing Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s unconstitutional delays making it impossible for Missourian’s to gather enough signatures to put abortion on the ballot, and let people vote on the issue.

The extreme abortion bill (House Bill 126) becomes effective next week,. It bans abortion after eight weeks with no exceptions for survivors of rape or incest, and certainly no exceptions for fetal anomalies like Grace’s. It’s utterly outrageous, and transparently shows that they want to control pregnant people, and want this to go to the Supreme Court.

I don’t know if I can express how hard it has been to watch our rights eroding around us after having our own abortion. We feel so strongly that we made the right decision for our desperately wanted daughter. Yet our lawmakers don’t care.

Jim and I repeatedly have testified both via correspondence and in person against bans like this, and our lawmakers don’t listen. They passed it anyway, despite us telling them what a horrible bill it is and how it’d hurt babies like Grace Pearl.

So we turned to the constitutional process next: Governor Parsons signing the bill into the law wasn’t the end: Missouri’s Constitution guarantees citizens the right to stop a new law from taking effect through the referendum process — a vote of the people. On May 28, the referendum process began. Under the Missouri Constitution, we should have had 90 days to collect 100,000 signatures in six different congressional districts. That isn’t what happened. Why? Because Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft chose to abuse the power of his office and join the race to ban safe, legal abortion in our state.

It is utterly unacceptable that Ashcroft is using his position to block the will of the people. His behavior is outrageous, manipulative and unconstitutional. Missourians deserve better, no matter where they stand on abortion. This is about protecting our constitutional rights.

You can read the full Op Ed here:

Robin Utz: Ashcroft's delay tactics defy Missourians' right to challenge abortion law

My husband Jim and I have been married for nine years, and we have wanted a baby more than anything. After four years of trying to conceive, including two rounds of in-vitro fertilization, three embryo transfers, a miscarriage and looking extensively into adoption, we finally got pregnant with our daughter, Grace Pearl.

Parents Magazine Covers Full Impact of Abortion Bans, Including Our Story

I have often said that Jim and I were lucky in the most heartbreaking experience of our lives: we had close access to excellent medical care, had good jobs, health insurance, and other elements of privilege protecting us. This article from Parents Magazine covers our story and how it will be impacted by the abortion bans here in Missouri, and likewise in Alabama, Georgia, etc., as well as how those far less fortunate than us will be affected. Please read and consider.

What New Abortion Laws Mean for Moms, Pregnant Women, and Women Who Want to Get Pregnant

Restrictive abortion laws in states across the South and Midwest threaten your right to choose. Here's what they mean for women considering parenthood. May 23, 2019 Robin Utz learned in November of 2016 that there was something wrong with her second-trimester pregnancy.