Missouri Senate debates 3-day abortion wait period

May 7, 2014

Missouri Capitol
Credit Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

Missouri's Republican-led Senate has defeated a rape and incest exemption to the state's abortion waiting period.

The party-line 22-9 vote came as lawmakers started debate Tuesday on legislation tripling the state's mandatory waiting period between an abortion and a woman's initial medical consultation.

The amendment offered by Senate Democrats would have exempted women who were raped or a victim of incest from the current 24-hour waiting period. The measure pending before the Senate would increase the waiting period to 72 hours. The amendment would have applied to the longer waiting period, as well.

Republicans opposed the exemption and argued that a pregnancy resulting from rape should be treated the same as others. Democratic opponents say crime victims shouldn't be forced to wait to terminate a pregnancy.