JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri House gave preliminary approval Wednesday, March 5, to a bill that would require women to wait triple the amount of time to have an abortion after giving consent.
The current Missouri law requires women to wait 24 hours after contacting a physician, but this measure would change the waiting period to 72 hours.
Republican lawmakers in favor of the bill said they believe waiting three more days to make such a huge decision is not too much to ask for.
"By passing this bill, it is a signal from this body as representatives of the people that it is their desire that this decision be given the deepest of consideration," Rep. Keith Frederick, R-Rolla, said.
Rep. Mary Nichols, D-St. Louis County, said she thinks the measure is designed to shame and demean women. Nichols said the argument from Republicans that this bill gives women more time to decide is "bogus."
"Women don't discover that they're pregnant at the time they seek an abortion," Nichols said. "Women finds out that she is pregnant in the privacy of their own home with an at home pregnancy test, or in the privacy of their own doctor's office."
Rep. Sonya Anderson, R-Springfield, said deciding to have an abortion is a very important decision. "Not only is life of the mother being affected, but we're talking about the life of a child."
The House also adopted an amendment, sponsored by Rep. Linda Black, D-Desloge, that would require women to watch an informative video and sign off on it prior to having an abortion.
"It's patronizing, it's insulting," Rep. Margo McNeil, D-St. Louis County said in response to Black's amendment. "It's really a shame that here this body that holds freedom and the rights of people to act according to their conscience in a constitutionally accepted way, to act in a constitutionally accepted manner, we are putting these kind of prohibitions and I find it insulting."
The House approved the measure by 115 to 37, which is more than the two-thirds majority needed to overturn a governors veto.
That same day, a filibuster in the Senate blocked a vote on the bill.