Nearly $5M raised in 3 months for Missouri abortion legalization campaign

Jefferson City, Missouri — In a fundraising frenzy that was critical to placing the abortion legalization initiative on the ballot this year, a Missouri group said on Tuesday that it had raised nearly $5 million in the previous three months.  

More than $4.8 million was raised by Missourians for Constitutional Freedom between January and March, according to the organization. Concurrently, an anti-abortion group's campaign managed to raise $85,000. The Missouri initiative would constitutionally protect abortion rights if it were to pass. The capacity to control abortion by lawmakers would persist beyond the point of fetal viability.  

In the wake of the 2022 U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Missouri passed a law prohibiting the majority of abortions, with the exception of those involving rape or incest. Abortions in Missouri are legal only in cases of extreme medical need.  

By May 5, the abortion-rights group must have collected signatures from eight percent of eligible voters in six of the eight congressional districts. That must be more than 171,000 legitimate signatures on a voter registration form. The campaign has spent over $3.4 million thus far. About $3.2 million of that has already been spent on collecting and processing signatures.  

It cost a total of $70 million for Ohio's successful 2023 proposal to ensure abortion rights. To get the constitutional amendment passed, the pro-initiative campaign, Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights, spent and raised almost $39.5 million. Opposition group Protect Women Ohio spent and funded about $30.4 million.  

How near the 171,000 signatures needed by the Missouri campaign is remains unknown. Campaign officials claimed to have collected about 20,000 signatures in a single day on April 2, but they would not reveal how many signatures were collected in total.  

Candidates in Missouri were likewise required to reveal their most recent fundraising on Monday. In the race for U.S. Senate, incumbent Josh Hawley received $850,000 from his campaign, while Democrat Lucas Kunce raised over $2.2 million. U.S. Representative Cori Bush, a Democrat, raised $590,000, while St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell raised $952,000.  

Republican Gov. Mike Kehoe and Democrat Mike Hamra were the top two fundraisers for the Missouri gubernatorial race, both raising almost $557,000. Hamra was able to raise $512,000, with $500,000 coming from her own pocket.  

Along with their campaigns, most candidates in Missouri have political action committees (PACs) that can spend and raise money to elect them, but which cannot work in direct coordination with either. Fundraising for political action committees is not included in the figures given.  

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