Missouri Now Home to One of the Strictest Abortion Laws

GOP kills Dem filibuster to push through bill last night
By Shelley Hazen,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 11, 2014 11:54 AM CDT
Missouri Now Home to One of the Strictest Abortion Laws
Abortion rights activists hold signs as they stand on the steps of the Missouri Capitol on Sept. 10, 2014, in Jefferson City, Mo.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Missouri is now one of two states requiring a 72-hour waiting period before having an abortion, with no exception for rape or incest, the AP reports. Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of the bill—which he called "extreme and disrespectful" toward women—was overridden by the legislature by the skin of its teeth last night in a record budget session. The GOP rolled out a rarely used procedure to kill a Democratic filibuster and force the bill into law, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch adds. It will take effect within the month and triples the waiting period from 24 to 72 hours after a doctor visit before a woman can get an abortion, the Kansas City Star explains. Only South Dakota's abortion laws are stricter; Utah's waiting period is also 72 hours, but exceptions are allowed.

The wait is being called a "reflection period" by supporters. "Another 48 hours could very well be the difference between a life saved and a life ended. Knowing that a life is at stake, this is the least we can do for these children," one senator who sponsored the bill tells the Star. Abortion rights activists were quick to criticize the new law, which "represents the latest intrusion of politicians into a woman’s private medical decisions,” the state's ACLU chief says. Reps with Planned Parenthood in St. Louis—which runs the state's only licensed abortion clinic—tell the AP that the waiting period puts unneeded financial strain on women already traveling up to 100 miles for the procedure. (The legislature also restored $35 million in vetoed funding to various programs.)

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