Missouri’s top election official has rejected a third petition for a public vote on a new law banning abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy. Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft acted Tuesday. Last week he rejected two similar petitions for a referendum on the law. Ashcroft says he’s rejecting the petitions because of what’s known as an emergency clause making part of the measure take effect immediately. While the ban on most abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy is slated to take effect Aug. 28, another section on parental notification for minors receiving abortions was enacted when Governor Mike Parson signed the bill last month. The ACLU of Missouri and a wealthy Republican businessman filed the petitions and are suing in an attempt to force Ashcroft to approve their petitions.