Missouri abortion rights campaign raises nearly $5 million ahead of signature deadline

Kacen Bayless, The Kansas City Star on

Published in Political News

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A campaign to overturn Missouri’s near-total abortion ban has raised nearly $5 million as it gathers signatures across the state to force a statewide vote.

The campaign, called Missourians for Constitutional Freedom, has raised $4.98 million since launching its campaign in January, according to the coalition’s quarterly financial report with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

Monday’s report shows that the coalition of abortions rights groups is on track to surpass its stated goal of $5 million. The groups reported having $1.5 million on hand at the end of March, according to the report.

Since launching the effort, the campaign’s fundraising has received dozens of small-dollar donations from people with addresses across the state. It’s also propped up with several large contributions such as $1 million from Sixteen Thirty Fund, a progressive nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., and $500,000 from The Fairness Project, another Washington-based nonprofit.

The report shows that the coalition has spent a significant percentage of its money on its campaign to collect signatures across the state. The coalition reported spending more than $3 million on signature collections to a Texas-based consulting firm and $138,000 on signature processing to a California-based firm.

A spokesperson for the campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The funding boost comes as a group seeking to block the campaign, called Missouri Stands with Women, lags behind in fundraising. The anti-abortion group on Monday reported raising $84,500 since January. The group had only $17,700 of that money on hand at the end of March.

Some of the group’s largest donations include $10,000 each from the Missouri Senate Campaign Committee and the House Republican Campaign Committee Inc. It also received $5,000 from the Missouri Catholic Conference.


The anti-abortion group’s report shows that it has used the bulk of its money on communications, paying a total of $63,000 to various groups including $18,000 to Remington Research Group and $30,000 to Jefferson City-based law firm Ellinger Bell.

Monday’s report gave no indication of how many total signatures the abortion rights coalition has collected as it fights to meet a tight deadline. But the campaign collected nearly 20,000 signatures in one day on Election Day earlier this month, a figure the coalition touted as historic.

While polling shows that a majority of Missourians support some form of abortion access, a series of legal battles with anti-abortion Republican officials kept versions of the petitions tied up in court for months.

Campaigners and volunteers need to collect more than 171,000 signatures from voters by May 5 to get the proposal on the ballot. If certified, the measure would likely appear on the November ballot.

The abortion rights coalition includes the ACLU of Missouri, Abortion Action Missouri, Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes and Advocates of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri.

The groups are backing a measure that would enshrine the right to an abortion in the state constitution but also give lawmakers leeway to regulate the procedure after fetal viability as defined in the amendment.

Missouri became the first state to ban nearly all abortions after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022. A 2019 state law that went into effect after the court decision bans abortion in nearly all circumstances and does not include exceptions for rape and incest.

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