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Blake v. Carnahan

Location: Missouri
Court Type: U.S. Supreme Court
Last Update: February 9, 2010

What's at Stake

On September 17, 2009, Personhood Missouri submitted a proposed initiative petition to be placed on the 2010 ballot for a constitutional amendment redefining the term “person” as “every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being.”

Summary

Sponsors of the initiative have stated clearly that the purpose of the amendment is to “end abortion now.” It could also ban commonly used forms of birth control and interfere with doctors’ ability to treat life-threatening pregnancies, miscarriages, and infertility. In addition, it could reach far beyond health care, affecting thousands of laws, and it fails to explain to voters its intent and impact.

On October 28, 2009, three Missouri citizens — a doctor, lawyer, and medical student — represented by the ACLU, the ACLU of Eastern Missouri, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America, asked the court to stop it from being placed on the ballot.

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