This week the House Committee on Health Policy considered two bills that would extend the waiting period for an abortion from 24 to 72 hours. House Bill 1307 and House Bill 1313, sponsored by Representative Kevin Elmer (R-Nixa) and Representative Keith Frederick (R-Rolla), respectively, would require a woman seeking an abortion to wait an additional 48 hours after being advised of the risks of the procedure before proceeding with the abortion.
Utah and South Dakota passed similar provisions recently, but no court has addressed whether a 72-hour waiting period represents a constitutional restriction on a woman’s rights. The Missouri Catholic Conference and other pro-life groups provided testimony on the physical, emotional, and mental health problems caused by abortion and the need to provide women more time for reflection on this most serious decision. The bill faced fierce opposition from abortion rights advocates during the hearing, and is expected to face similar opposition during the course of the legislative session.
Posted: January 24, 2014