Missouri Abortion Advocates Promote Equal Rights Amendment

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 16, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Missouri Abortion Advocates Promote Equal Rights Amendment

by Maria Gallagher
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
January 16, 2004

Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — If you think that the Equal Rights Amendment went out with mood rings and pet rocks, think again. Pro-abortion forces in Missouri are trying to resurrect the ill-fated amendment in an effort to promote their cause.

However, pro-life leaders in the Show-Me State believe they can block the ERA from winning approval.

A spokeswoman for Missouri Right to Life, Pam Manning, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper, “What the Equal Rights Amendment has done in other states…is give another avenue” for promoting abortion.

In fact, a ruling by the New Mexico Supreme Court agreed that the ERA could be used to require taxpayer funding of abortions.

But pro-abortion lawmakers in Missouri are trying to downplay the anti-life implications of the ERA.

State Rep. Vicki Riback Wilson (D-Columbia) told the Post-Dispatch that the ERA and abortion are separate issues. “Most of the court opinions I have seen” back that up, Wilson told the paper. She also accused pro-life activists of using the ERA-abortion link as a “good scare tactic.”

The ERA is not the only right-to-life issue facing the Missouri legislature. Pro-abortion activists say their top priority is to revive the state’s family planning program, which expired June 30.

Meanwhile, pro-life legislative initiatives include an effort to ban human cloning and an attempt to allow parents to sue anyone who tries to circumvent Missouri’s parental consent law by taking their daughters to Illinois or Kansas for abortions.

Pro-life politics will also come into play in Missouri this election year. Missouri Right to Life, the state’s largest pro-life group, is hopeful about pro-life Secretary of State Matt Blunt’s run for Governor.

During a campaign kick-off in St. Louis, Blunt said, “I’m clearly pro-life.” To back up that statement, Blunt said that he would support legislation barring late-term abortions and requiring counseling for women considering abortions.

The Republican candidate is trying to unseat Gov. Bob Holden, who supports legalized abortion. Holden’s Democratic primary challenger, state Auditor Claire McCaskill, shares Holden’s pro-abortion position.

Americans United for Life, a pro-life legal group, says Missouri is one of nine states nationally that enacted at least two laws last year offering greater protection for unborn children.

Missouri is considered a key battleground state, as far as abortion is concerned. Planned Parenthood official Paula Gianino told the Post-Dispatch, “We will be doing more than in any other year to get out the pro-choice vote. I think people understand what’s at stake this year.”

Political observers note that abortion often plays a critical role in close elections in the state, and that is expected to be true again this year.

Related web sites:
Missouri Right to Life – https://www.missourilife.org