The Missouri senate has passed a bill requiring women to wait 72-hours after counseling before getting an abortion. It joins Utah and South Dakota as the only states in the U.S. with such an extensive waiting period.
The bill passed 22-9 after Democrats yielded the floor following a filibuster that lasted only 2 hours. (In matters like these, it seems far more appropriate that they should have to debate the issue for a full 72.)
Following the disappointing vote, Sen. Scott Sifton (D) stated that Democrats yielded quickly because they were sure the longer waiting period would eventually be contested as unconstitutional in court.
"I am also convinced that my pushing the issue further would be counterproductive on issues of a great deal of concern to my constituents," he added.
From the Missouri Republicans, it's more of the same anti-choice narrative that we've unfortunately grown so used to.
"We as a society have decided that a mother has the right to end the life of her unborn child," remarked Republican senator John Lamping. "My hope would be that, yes, this bill would reduce the number of abortions because the woman would come to realize in that 48 hours that yes, it's a life she's taking and decide not to do that."
Or maybe she won't. Most women visiting abortion clinics haven't wandered in thoughtlessly. It's a decision they've made on their own and a 3-day reflection period isn't likely to change their minds.
The bill is particularly disadvantageous to low-income women who have to travel to Missouri's sole legal abortion provider (Planned Parenthood) in St. Louis, then incur the cost of lodging and missing work for a full 72- hours.
As Democratic senator Jamilah Nasheed points out, "Men always step up to the plate and introduce bills that attack women."
Sadly, this assault on our rights won't be stopping anytime soon.
Image via the AP.