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Covering state lawmakers, bills, and policy emerging from Jefferson City.

Southwest Missourians Offer Views on State’s New Abortion Law

KSMU Archives
Capitol Building in Jefferson City/Credit: Scott Harvey

Within 30 days, legislation extending the wait time to obtain an abortion in Missouri will become law. This after lawmakers Wednesday overrode the veto of Gov. Jay Nixon. KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann has reaction from Springfield.

The bill extends Missouri’s current 24 hour wait time to 72 hours, making it one of the strongest in the nation. 

“I think that’s a really good idea because I don’t think abortion is right at all.  So I feel like if you have that time and change your mind, and sit there and think about it,” says Katlyn.

Those remarks from 18-year-old Katlyn, who declined to give her last name, fall in line with that the bill’s supporters, who wanted to give pregnant women additional time to consider a life-altering decision.

Others we spoke with suggested the extended wait time is too short. But opponents, like 18-year-old Molly, disagree.

“I think it’s wrong [the 72 hour hold] because it’s a woman’s body.  I don’t think the government should have any part of it,” Molly says.

Missouri will become one of three states to impose a 72 hour hold. The bill does not allow exceptions for victims of rape or incest, a major reason it was denounced by Gov. Nixon, and why some told us they don’t approve.

“I think that a 72 hour hold is morally unjust.  Especially in the case of rape and incest I don’t think that there should be a 72 hour hold on abortions,” says Ethan.

“Oh I am definitely opposed to that [72 hour hold for victims of rape or incest], in that case I think it should be automatic,” Peter says.

That was 20-year-old Ethan and 57-year-old Peter.

Many others were asked for their opinion Thursday but declined to comment.

The pro-life legislation, HB 1307, passed with the two-thirds majority needed in both chambers to override Gov. Nixon’s veto. It was sponsored by Nixa Republican Representative Kevin Elmer. 

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