Missouri Mandates 72-Hour Waiting Period Before Abortion

Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele
Brooke Amabile, then 15, of Kansas City, Mo., joined thousands of anti-abortion rights demonstrators participating in the March for Life in front of the Supreme Court building on Jan. 22, 2008, in Washington, D.C. 
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Women in Missouri who decide to terminate their pregnancies now have to wait 72 hours after consulting with their doctors before going forward with the abortion, Al-Jazeera reports.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, initially tried to veto the piece of legislation mandating this 72-hour waiting period, but the state's Republican-led Legislature overruled his veto Wednesday. Nearly half of the states in this country, including Missouri, already had a 24-hour waiting period, but Missouri now joins Utah and South Dakota as the only states requiring women to wait 72 hours.


"The new measure fits the pattern of a series of restrictions promoted by anti-abortion advocates, who seek to discourage women from undergoing an abortion by limiting access," the report explains. "While initiatives to overturn Roe v. Wade—the 1973 court order that struck down many laws banning abortion—have broadly failed, measures such as requiring parental consent and mandatory waiting periods have passed in many states across the United States."

Lawmakers who support the veto describe the waiting period as a "reflection period" for women.


If women "get a couple of more days to think about this pregnancy, think about where it's going, you may change your mind," Missouri House Rep. Kathie Conway, a Republican from St. Charles, told Al-Jazeera.

Unlike Utah's law, Missouri's new law does not make exceptions for rape or incest.


Read more at Al-Jazeera.

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