Pro-choice activists hold signs in front of the U.S. Supreme Court January 22, 2014.
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty

Missouri lawmakers pass 72-hour wait period abortion bill

Updated

Women in Missouri might soon have to wait 72 hours to undergo an abortion.

House legislators passed a bill 111-39 on Wednesday night that could require women to wait three days to have the operation starting from the time of their doctor’s appointment with the physician performing the procedure. The measure, which extends the period from the previous 24-hour lapse, awaits a signature from Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon. The bill previously passed in the Senate 22-9.

The piece of legislation does not contain exceptions for victims of rape and incest. Reproductive rights advocates oppose the bill because of the requirements. But Republican supporters believe the measure provides women with more time to consider changing their minds about completing the process.

If the bill becomes law, Missouri will join Utah and South Dakota as the only states with a 72-hour period in place. St. Louis is home to the only abortion clinic in Missouri.

Most states require a mandatory period of at least 24 hours between the doctor’s visit and the abortion. Every state, however, requires that women make an “informed” consent before undergoing the medical procedure, according to the Guttmacher Institute

It is unclear whether or not Nixon will sign the bill, according to The Associated Press. Republicans in Missouri began holding hearings last month in an attempt to impeach their Democratic governor, partly because of his decision to allow same-sex couples to file joint tax returns, as well as not calling special elections to replace vacancies in Missouri’s General Assembly.

09-11-2013, Abortion, Jay Nixon and Missouri

Missouri lawmakers pass 72-hour wait period abortion bill

Updated