Action was taken on legislation to extend the current waiting period before having an abortion in both the House and the Senate this week.
Two proposals, HB 1307 and HB 1313, sponsored by Representative Kevin Elmer (R-Nixa) and Representative Keith Frederick (R-Rolla), respectively, which would increase the minimum waiting period before a woman can have an abortion from 24 hours to 72 hours, were voted out of the House Committee on Health Policy by a 8-2 margin. The legislation will now move to the House floor for consideration.
Monday evening, the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Civil/Criminal and Jurisprudence heard testimony on an identical piece of legislation, SB 519 sponsored by Senator David Sater, (R-Cassville). During public testimony, the proposal had the support of many pro-life advocates. Senator Sater, as well as many other advocates for this legislation, made the point that a person does not go to a doctor for an operation and receive that operation in the same day. He compared the additional time to how patients consider if they want to go through with a surgery, such as knee replacement.
This legislation would place Missouri in line with Utah and South Dakota, states that have both passed similar 72-hour waiting provisions recently. The Senate Committee has not yet taken any further action on the proposal at this time. The Missouri Catholic Conference testified in support of all three bills, and will continue to support these measures throughout the legislative session.
Sam Lee, Director of Campaign Life Missouri, testified that Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands have between three and six day waiting periods for abortion, and each of these countries has a lower abortion rate than the U.S. For the research and public testimony provided by Campaign Life Missouri please click here.
Posted: January 31, 2014