Speaker Jones: 3-Day Abortion Waiting Period Not an Excessive Burden

Sep 8, 2014

House Speaker Tim Jones
Credit KSMU Archives

Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones says extending the abortion waiting period to “a mere 72 hours” is not excessive when considering the sanctity of life.

His speech Monday at the Springfield Pregnancy Care Center comes two days before lawmakers are set to convene for its annual veto session at the state capitol. He was joined Monday by Republican representatives Kevin Elmer, Eric Burlison and Sonya Anderson. 

If passed, the wait period would become the second most stringent in the nation.                  

“My colleagues and I believe that waiting 72 hours is not an excessive burden when you are considering a decision or whether or not to bring a life into this world, or to extinguish that flame,” Jones said.

The bill is one of more than 30 vetoed by Democratic Governor Jay Nixon that lawmakers will consider this week. The governor has stated that he vetoed the bill, in part, because it does not include exceptions for rape and incest.

Missouri currently requires a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion can be performed. Planned Parenthood operates the state’s only licensed abortion clinic in St. Louis. An official with the organization did not immediately respond to request for comment on the legislation.

Opponents of the measure have said the delay could force patients to make two trips or spend additional money on hotels. Others have said there is no proof that a longer wait will reduce the number of abortions.