Missouri To Pass Most Extreme Anti-Choice Bill NationwidePosted: September 8, 2014
The Missouri legislature is on the verge of imposing one of the nation’s harshest anti-choice laws on its constituents. This week, they will vote on Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a law that calls for a 72-hour waiting period for a woman to get an abortion after an initial ultrasound.
The vote will come in a session dedicated to veto overrides, but the waiting period law is of particular priority to lawmakers in the state. Proponents of waiting period laws say that they give a woman time to carefully consider her decision. However, this implies that women do not take appropriate prior measures to consider their own healthcare decisions and also imposes big government regulation into an extremely personal choice.
The state already has a 24-hour waiting period in place. Extending this to three days is another attempt in a stream of recent legislation to attack women’s healthcare with medically unnecessary procedures, from invasive ultrasounds to limitations on abortions. Women’s reproductive health has been singled out among all other areas of healthcare for regulations that impact a woman’s individual right to decide what is best for herself. Additionally, Missouri’s law intentionally omits any exceptions for cases of rape and incest, making this an even more painful process for those victims.
In Missouri, where women travel an average of almost 100 miles in order to receive an abortion, a longer waiting period could increase due to multiple trips or accommodations. These laws have a particular impact on poor women, forcing them to wait longer in order to pay for the care they need. Studies have shown that later abortions increase their associated health risks. Not only are waiting periods medically unnecessary, but they force undue costs on many women seeking to make a personal decision about pregnancy.
When the law was originally vetoed by Gov. Nixon in May, the State House and Senate held an override vote. The State Senate missed the two-third majority mark because one Republican, who is expected to attend the vote this week, was absent. With the numbers the legislature has on hand, it appears they will easily override the veto, instating one of the country’s most stringent anti-choice laws.