Missouri Legislature Passes 72-Hour Waiting Period Bill

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Missouri Legislature Passes 72-Hour Waiting Period Bill

Teddy Wilson

The bill was passed without an amendment that would have created an exception for victims of rape or incest. It now goes to Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon for signature or veto.

The Missouri House of Representatives voted Wednesday on final passage of a bill that would extend the mandatory waiting period for an abortion from 24 hours to 72 hours.

The senate passed HB 1307 in the early morning hours on Tuesday, after Republican lawmakers struck a deal to break a Democrat filibuster. Because of amendments added to the bill in the senate, it had to be sent back to the house for one final vote. Lawmakers passed the bill 111 to 39.

During the floor debate, bill sponsor Rep. Kevin Elmer (R-Nixa) spoke against allowing an exception for victims of rape or incest to be inserted into the bill. “For me, even though that tragic situation may occur, I still believe that God is at work in this world and that he’ll let bad things happen and he doesn’t cause it,” said Elmer.

The amendment, proposed by Rep. Genise Montecillo (D-St. Louis), was rejected. Montecillo chastised her male colleagues for not respecting women. “It is about time we started trusting women and letting them make their own decision,” said Montecillo.

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The bill now goes to Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon for signature or veto.

Sen. Jolie Justus (D-Kansas City) told an NPR affiliate in Columbia that Democrats are hoping Nixon vetoes the legislation, even though the senate could override the veto. Nixon has given few clues as to his intentions.

If Nixon signs the bill, Missouri will join South Dakota and Utah as the only states in the nation that require women to wait three days before they can terminate a pregnancy.