Ignoring Women’s Protest, Missouri Senate Passes Bill Tripling Time Women Must Delay Their Abortions

Affiliate: ACLU of Missouri
May 13, 2014 12:00 am

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Jefferson City, Mo. – In the face of a substantial overnight protest on the capitol steps, early this morning, the Missouri Senate passed a bill that forces a woman who has already met with her health care professional and decided to have an abortion to delay getting the medical care she needs for at least 3 days. Missouri law had already required women to delay their abortions for 24 hours. The bill now goes back to the House, which has already passed a similar bill.

Women have been gathering in front of the capitol since 2 p.m. Monday for an ongoing filibuster in protest of the bill. They stayed throughout the night and have vowed to continue their protest for 72 hours.

“Once again, legislators are interfering with a personal, private decision made by a woman with her family and her doctor,” said Jennifer Dalven, director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Reproductive Freedom Project. “It’s time for all of us to take out our pink Wendy Davis sneakers and let our elected representatives know that we won’t stand by while they play politics with women’s health.”

This legislative session alone, Missouri has considered more than two dozen bills designed to prevent a woman from getting an abortion. Earlier this year, Missouri Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger compared a woman’s decision about whether to continue a pregnancy to buying a new car or carpet.

In fact, women who decide to have an abortion have already carefully considered their decision. There is only one health center in Missouri that provides abortions. This law forces women to make additional trips to the clinic which makes it more costly for women and forces them to find additional child care and take additional days off of work.

This is especially burdensome for low-income women and rural women, who often can’t take extra days off work or travel long distances.

“Legislators should be finding ways to ensure that people have access to health care, not wasting time and resources finding ways to block it,” said Jeffrey A. Mittman, executive director of the ACLU of Missouri.

If this bill becomes law, Missouri will join South Dakota and Utah as the only states with a 72-hour forced waiting period.

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