Missouri Pro-Life Group Challenges Robin Carnahan on Abortion Funding Ban
by Steven Ertelt
April 21, 2009
Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — A Missouri pro-life group is challenging Secretary of State Robin Carnahan over a ballot initiative it has proposed that would stop Missouri from funding abortion or embryonic stem cell research in some circumstances. On Monday, Missouri Roundtable for Life used polling data to make its point.
The pro-life group filed the ballot initiative last year, but complained after Carnahan changed the wording of the summary that would appear on the ballot.
Missouri Roundtable for Life says the wording Carnahan used is biased and would likely lead voters to oppose it because the language is negative and appears to oppose the initiative. The group filed a lawsuit last year against the state official.
Now, the pro-life organization has supplied LifeNews.com with polling data using both the Carnahan language and its original language and testing how voters would respond.
Testing its own language, Missouri Roundtable for Life said 48 percent of those polled indicated they would support an initiative "to make it unlawful to expend, pay, or grant any public funds for abortion services" while 41 percent said they would oppose it.
Using the Carnahan language, which says the funding ban also applies to abortions including "those necessary to save the life of the mother," the support dropped to 38 percent and opposition rose to 44 percent.
The poll also addressed the ballot language pertaining to embryonic stem cell research.
When asked about a measure to "make it unlawful to expend, pay or grant any public funds for human cloning" — language the group favors — 55 percent of Missouri residents approved and 36 percent opposed.
Asked about an initiative "to make it illegal for the legislature, state or local governments to expend, pay or grant public funds to certain types of stem cell research currently allowed under Missouri law," 39 percent agreed and 43 percent opposed.
Todd Jones, the director of the group, told LifeNews.com the results made it clear that Carnahan is attempting to influence the results of the vote on the potential ballot measure.
"As you can see from the comparison, Secretary Carnahan has inserted her politically motivated, poll-tested language into the initiative petition process to negatively impact MRFLs ‘Taxpayer Protection Amendment,’" he said.
"Carnahan has abused her power by favoring her own self-interest of pushing her extreme pro-abortion agenda over carrying out her constitutional duty of writing a fair and unbiased ballot title," Jones added. "Carnahan turned a simple 44 word amendment into a prejudicial 128 word statement of her political views."
Carnahan spokeswoman Laura Egerdal told the Associated Press Carnahan believes the ballot summary language is fair.
"There is a process defined in Missouri law for challenging and evaluating Missouri ballot language, and that takes place in the courts," Egerdal said.
McLaughlin & Associates, a Republican-leaning polling company, conducted the survey for the Roundtable group on March 24-25 and it had a plus or minus 4 percentage points margin of error.
Related web sites:
Missouri Roundtable for Life – https://www.moroundtable.org
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