Missouri Legislature Passes 72-Hour Waiting Period Bill
The Missouri House voted last night, in the middle of an ongoing 3-day protest on the steps of the state capitol, to approve a measure that will triple Missouri's waiting period for an abortion procedure from 24 hours to 72 hours. The Missouri Senate had already voted on Tuesday 22-9 to pass the waiting period bill.
If signed into law, women seeking an abortion will have to wait three days between an initial appointment with the physician who will perform the procedure and the actual procedure. The long waiting period will significantly increase the financial and transportation burdens on women seeking abortions, especially since there is only one clinic in the entire state that provides abortions. There is also no exception to the waiting period for victims of rape or incest.
"Those of us who oppose this bill believe it's designed to demean and shame a woman in an effort to change her mind and places unnecessary hurdles on her decision to end a pregnancy," said Missouri Representative Judy Morgan before the House voted on the legislation yesterday.
It is unclear whether Governor Jay Nixon plans to sign or veto the bill, but if he signs the measure into law, Missouri will join South Dakota and Utah as the states with the longest waiting period.
The Missouri state legislature has considered 29 other anti-abortion proposals during this session alone.
Media Resources: St. Louis Post-Dispatch 5/15/14; USA Today 5/15/15; ThinkProgress 5/15/14; Feminist Newswire 1/28/14, 5/13/14