Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. issued a statement this week after the Jackson County Legislature failed to pass Ordinance 5656. The Ordinance, if approved, would have placed an advisory referendum on the November ballot asking voters if they think Missouri’s abortion ban should be repealed to ensure safe and legal access to abortion.

Following the Supreme Court’s ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade in June, the state of Missouri criminalized abortions without any exceptions for rape or incest. The advisory referendum would have provided an opportunity for voters to inform elected officials about their position on a very important issue. County Executive White’s statement is as follows:

“It is unbelievable that the same people who voted to put the location of a statue on the ballot, refused today to give Jackson County voters a voice about their own bodies or those of their wives, mothers, sisters and daughters.

“I cannot understand how anyone could stand in the way of allowing Jackson County voters the opportunity to voice their opposition to a law that makes it a crime for a victim of rape or incest to terminate their pregnancy. As the second-largest county in the state, our residents deserve to have their say on this important health care issue and show our country that despite the views of a few, we value human dignity, freedom of choice and individual liberty.

“Though I am disappointed by today’s outcome, I am not discouraged and vow to keep standing up for women in Jackson County and our democratic process.”

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