- Associated Press - Thursday, March 6, 2014

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A woman would have to wait three days after seeing a doctor before she could get an abortion under legislation endorsed Wednesday by the Missouri House.

The measure would extend the state’s current 24-hour waiting period to up to 72 hours. Republicans supported the bill, arguing that one day is too short for a woman to consider relevant medical information.

“This would give a woman the opportunity to have more time to consider the severity of the decision she is about to embark upon before she terminates the life of that child,” said sponsoring Rep. Kevin Elmer, R-Nixa.

The House gave the bill first-round approval with a 115-37 vote. It needs one more vote before moving to the Senate.

Democratic House members said the bill was an affront to women and designed to push women further into pregnancies, which can increase risk.

“This is designed to make a private medical decision even more painful,” said Rep. Stacey Newman, D-St. Louis. “It’s a lack of respect for a women’s individual intellect.”

Republican supporters argued three days was not too much to ask for a woman to consider the consequences of an abortion.

Democrats also pointed out the bill could make women travel far and stay three nights in a hotel to get an abortion under the new requirements. Only one location in Missouri, a St. Louis-based Planned Parenthood clinic, currently performs elective abortions.

The House also adopted an amendment that would require Missouri officials to develop a video about the procedure to include in a packet of written information already given to women seeking abortions. Rep. Linda Black, D-Bonne Terre, offered that provision and said it would help visual-learners to further understand abortion.

Shortly after the House vote, the Senate began debating its own version of the legislation Wednesday evening. The bill was laid over after Democratic senators talked against the bill for about four hours.

Only Utah and South Dakota currently have three-day waiting periods.

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Abortion bills are HB 1307 and SB 519

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Online:

Legislature: http://www.moga.mo.gov

Copyright © 2017 The Washington Times, LLC.

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