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Critics of Missouri abortion law sue over referendum failure

They allege Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft dragged his feet, leading them to run out of time to collect enough signatures to block the law.
Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Abortion-rights advocates are suing following a failed attempt to put new Missouri abortion restrictions to a public vote.

No Bans on Choice and the state's American Civil Liberties Union sued Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft Thursday.

The plaintiffs' attorneys say Missouri laws and Ashcroft's actions denied advocates of their right to referendum.

Critics of a new law that bans abortions at or after eight weeks of pregnancy sought to put it to a public vote. But they ran out of time to collect enough signatures to block the law from taking effect Wednesday.

They allege Ashcroft dragged his feet, causing the time crunch. They also say Missouri laws impede the right to referendum that's guaranteed in Missouri's Constitution.

Ashcroft's spokeswoman says they need to read the lawsuit before commenting.

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