- Associated Press - Friday, November 6, 2015

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - A Republican state lawmaker has raised objections to a study about a Missouri law that requires a 72-hour waiting period for abortions.

The study is being conducted by a University of Missouri graduate student in the School of Social Work. It’s being supervised by the director of the school, Marjorie Sable, who became a member of the Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri Board of Directors in 2013.

Sen. Kurt Schaefer, who is seeking the GOP nomination for Missouri attorney general, wrote to university Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, accusing the university of violating a state law that prohibits the use of public funds to “encourage or counsel a woman to have an abortion not necessary to save her life,” The Columbia Daily Tribune reported (https://bit.ly/1Q8Kcqj ).

“The study does not appear to be designed as an objective, unbiased research project, but rather as a marketing aid for Planned Parenthood - one that is funded, in part or in whole, by taxpayer dollars,” Schaefer wrote.

The university also said the study does not violate state law.

Loftin supports and “and will continue to strongly support academic freedom and the intellectual property of MU’s students and faculty,” university spokeswoman Mary Joe Banken said in an email.

Schaefer is chairman of the Senate Interim Committee on the Sanctity of Life, which has also looked at whether Planned Parenthood is providing fetal tissue from abortions for research and the Columbia clinic’s abortion license.

Lawmakers passed the 72-hour law in 2014, over the veto of Gov. Jay Nixon. The law requires a woman to be counseled on abortion alternatives, given an ultrasound examination to determine the gestational age of the fetus, and sign a form consenting to the procedure.

Mary Kogut, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, said the study being conducted at that affiliate’s clinic in St. Louis is designed to find out what happens to women who decide not to have an abortion - not to figure out better ways to persuade them to have one.

“I also think what Sen. Schaefer is doing is intimidation of the higher education institutions of our state,” Kogut said. “This is about academic freedom for students and the university.”

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Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune, https://www.columbiatribune.com

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