Missouri Democrats score major win to clear path for abortion amendment

Missouri Democrats score major win to clear path for abortion amendment

Missouri Democrats scored a major win on Friday after Republicans abandoned their effort to make it harder to amend the state constitution. The victory paves the way for a ballot measure that would restore abortion rights to pass with just a simple majority this fall.

The stunning climb-down came thanks to a record-breaking Democratic filibuster and bitter internal divisions among Republicans, both between warring factions in the Senate and between the upper and lower chambers of the legislature.

Republicans were open about their desire to thwart an effort to undo Missouri’s near-total ban on abortion by moving the goalposts for an amendment that’s likely to appear on the ballot in November.

To that end, they sought to place a measure on the Aug. 6 primary ballot—just ahead of the November vote—that would require amendments to win not only majority support among voters statewide, as is currently required, but also a majority in five of the state’s eight congressional districts.

Those rules would have made it much harder to pass progressive proposals—but not conservative measures—thanks in large part to Republican gerrymandering.

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