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I'm Linds. I'm from the midwest.
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The Missouri House approved on Wednesday a measure to triple the waiting period required before an abortion. The Senate spent almost four hours debating a similar measure but took no action.
The current waiting period is 24 hours. The proposed measure would extend that to 72 hours between the procedure and the visit when a woman gets state-mandated “informed consent” materials about the procedure, alternatives and health risks.
Bill sponsor Rep. Kevin Elmer, R-Nixa, said the longer waiting period is needed. Because it’s an emotional time, a woman needs “more time to consider the severity of the decision that she’s about to embark upon before she terminates the life of that child,” Elmer said.
The House bill also includes a new requirement to inform women seeking an abortion. In addition to the currently required verbal and written information provided, a woman would have to watch a video containing the same information. Rep. Linda Black, D-Desloge, said she introduced the amendment based on her experience teaching and the different learning styles of students.
“So many people don’t take the time to read that information,” Black said. She said seeing the video may cause a woman to change her mind.
McNeil asked whether a woman could decline to watch the video. Black said she would have to watch it.
“So they would be forced to watch the video and if they close their eyes would they be arrested?” McNeil asked. “I find it insulting… To say you have to view this video, we are going to show that information - that is harassment.”
Supporters of the measure said they hoped it would change women’s minds about having an abortion. Rep. Keith Frederick, R-Rolla, said women should carefully consider “a procedure that will stop a beating human heart.”
“They’re offended to watch a video that describes what they’re about to do,” Frederick said. “The woman is simply forced to watch a video and wait and that’s insulting and onerous but the baby is forced to simply quietly accept death.”
Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, said restricting abortion while at the same time cutting funding for women and children in poverty was hypocrisy and that women could make their own decisions.
“You’re acting like women are stupid, like women are idiots,” Nasheed said. “Hopefully this bill will go down in flames. You should not be in the womb of a woman. That’s not your job. Your job as a Republican is to be reducing taxes.”
The House gave first-round approval to the measure extending the waiting period 115-37. It faces another vote in the House before heading to the Senate.
My state, ladies. I need to write some letters tonight.
Thank you all so much.