The Washington Post

Democrats help advance bill on Missouri abortion waiting period

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) has kept silent on whether he would sign a bill that triples the mandatory wait time for women seeking abortions. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner) Gov. Jay Nixon (D) expressed concerns over an “extreme” bill that would triple the mandatory wait time for women seeking abortions. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

A  measure requiring a 72-hour waiting period before a woman can have an abortion in Missouri – even in cases of rape or incest – cleared the state legislature Wednesday after Senate Democrats struck a late-night deal with Republicans.

Democrats had repeatedly stalled the bill over the last week, but they held off on a filibuster Wednesday after the GOP agreed to stand down on other contentious issues, including a voter ID bill, in the final week of the session.

The deal came after Senate President Tom Dempsey (R) warned he could shut down the abortion measure debate through a rare procedural move known as moving the previous question.

The bill, which is one of 32 Missouri bills related to reproductive health this year, would triple the mandatory wait time for women seeking an abortion.

“My hope would be that in these additional 48 hours, in fact, the mother would choose not to abort her child,” State Sen. John Lamping (R) said in a floor speech, according to the Springfield News Leader.

Twenty-six states enforce waiting periods for women seeking abortions, the majority of which are 24 hours. South Dakota and Utah both require 72-hour delays.

The number of women seeking abortions in Missouri has dropped by 35 percent over the last two decades, with about 5,820 women obtaining abortions in 2011, the latest data available from the nonprofit Guttmacher Institute. Missouri has just one abortion clinic in the state, which came under heavy assault by this year’s Republican-controlled legislature.

Gov. Jay Nixon (D) said in a statement Thursday that he has “profound concerns” over the bill’s lack of protections for the victims of sexual violence.

In past years, Nixon has allowed abortion restrictions to become law without his signature, earning him a “mixed choice” rating from the reproductive-rights group NARAL Pro Choice.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Show Comments
Republicans debate tonight. The South Carolina GOP primary and the Nevada Democratic caucuses are next on Feb. 20. Get caught up on the race.
Justice Scalia, in his own words
The Fix asks The State's political reporter where the most important region of the state is.
The State's Andy Shain says he could talk about Charleston, which represents a little bit of everything the state has to offer from evangelicals to libertarians, and where Ted Cruz is raising more money than anywhere else. In a twist, Marco Rubio is drawing strong financial support from more socially conservative Upstate. That said, Donald Trump is bursting all the conventional wisdom in the state. So maybe the better answer to this question is, "Wherever Trump is."
Past South Carolina GOP primary winners
South Carolina polling averages
Donald Trump leads in the first state in the South to vote, where he faces rivals Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
South Carolina polling averages
The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
62% 33%
The complicated upcoming voting schedule
Feb. 20

Democrats caucus in Nevada; Republicans hold a primary in South Carolina.

Feb. 23

Republicans caucus in Nevada.

Feb. 27

Democrats hold a primary in South Carolina.

Upcoming debates
Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

March 3: GOP debate

on Fox News, in Detroit, Mich.

Campaign 2016
Where the race stands

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.