The ACLU of Missouri is seeking a statewide vote on a new law that will ban most abortions starting at eight weeks of pregnancy.
The ACLU said Tuesday that it has submitted a referendum petition to the secretary of state's office as a first step toward blocking and potentially repealing the law that Republican Gov. Mike Parson signed last week.
If the petition is approved for circulation, the ACLU would need to gather more than 100,000 signatures to block the law from taking effect on Aug. 28 and force a referendum in 2020.
A similar tactic was used in 2017, when opponents of a law limiting union powers submitted enough signatures to block it from taking effect. Missouri voters overwhelmingly rejected that law in 2018.
Also Tuesday, Planned Parenthood announced a lawsuit against the state that seeks to keep open its abortion clinic in St. Louis. Planned Parenthood says the state may not renew the clinic's license, which means it could be forced to stop performing abortions as of Saturday.