The last time the Senate Interim Committee on the Sanctity of Life met, members threatened to hold a Nixon administration official in contempt unless she produced documents identifying which hospital had a working relationship with Columbia's Planned Parenthood clinic.

That became a moot point when Department of Health and Senior Services Director Gail Vasterling sent the committee a letter stating that Colleen McNicholas, M.D., had received admitting privileges from University of Missouri Health Care.

The Planned Parenthood Center in Columbia has announced it will resume medically induced abortions at its local clinic.

Amanda Byler / KBIA

Mizzou Students for Life, a local chapter of a national anti-abortion organization, gathered in the MU Student Center Wednesday as a part of a national campaign about Planned Parenthood.  

File / KBIA

Missouri Republican lawmakers want to expand notification requirements for minors in the state seeking abortions.

Current state law requires only one parent to give consent for a minor to get an abortion; the other parent does not have to be notified.


This week, Congress returns with House leaders vowing to revisit the anti-abortion bill they pulled off the floor last week. The ban on abortions after 20 weeks was withdrawn when it appeared there weren't enough Republican votes to pass it.

Why did it need quite so many Republican votes? Because the GOP can no longer count on a contingent of Democrats to help out on abortion-related votes.

j.stephenconn / flickr

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri Republican is proposing that women be required to get notarized permission from the father to receive an abortion.

State Representative Rick Brattin of Harrisonville recently filed legislation requiring a father's consent except in cases of rape or incest.

Giving teenagers access to free, long-term contraception can dramatically reduce rates of unintended pregnancy and abortion. That's according to new research out of Washington University in St. Louis.

File Photo / KBIA

  Missouri lawmakers are poised to vote this week to enact one of the nation's longest abortion waiting periods.

(Updated 11:40 a.m Thursday, May 15)

After more than an hour of emotional – and often loud – debate, the Missouri House voted to send to the governor a bill that would triple Missouri’s waiting period for abortions to 72 hours from 24 hours.

If approved by Gov. Jay Nixon, the measure would make Missouri only the third state in the nation to mandate a 72-hour wait – and possibly set the stage for a legal challenge.

Missouri Capitol
Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

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

Paul Sableman/flickr

The issue of abortion in Missouri seems like old news. But it's an issue that remains very much at the forefront of Missouri politics this year.  In this year's legislative session, there are over thirty pieces of legislation touching the issue.

Heather Adams / KBIA

  Political activist Alveda King, the niece of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, spoke at MU on Monday about what she considers to be the twenty-first century’s civil rights movement – the movement against abortion.

King said she’s been part of the anti-abortion movement since conception – she just didn’t know it yet. Her mother originally wanted to abort her.

“And my grandfather stepped up and said that he had seen me in a dream three years before, and my mother could not abort me because I was going to bless people,” King said.

Abortion wait times interactive map
Andrew Gibson, KBIA-FM

In March, the Missouri House approved a bill that would extend the state's abortion waiting time to 72 hours from 24 hours. If the measure, HB 1307, becomes law, it would put Missouri in company with South Dakota and Utah as the only states with a 72-hour waiting period.


Proponents of the bill, argue 72 hours is not too much to wait to receive such a procedure.

“I don’t think 72 hours, 3 days is too much time to bring another life into this world or not," said Tim Jones, Missouri  Republican Speaker of the House. Elizabeth Nash, State Issues Manager at the Guttmacher Institute, said it is too much to ask.  

Missouri has just one abortion service provider in St. Louis after Planned Parenthood of Mid-Missouri lost their doctor, who could perform abortions, in 2011. Having just one location where women may receive abortion care, Nash argues the 72-hour wait time would exacerbate the logistical burden on women who need to travel for abortion services, such as travel, day care, housing and taking off work.

"It is probably not going to sway a woman or affect her decision-making, but it can impact her ability to access abortion care entirely," said Nash. 


missouri capitol
Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

The Missouri House has approved legislation tripling the waiting time for women to get abortions after first visiting their doctors.

missouri house floor
File photo / KBIA

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to legislation that would impose an additional requirement on minors who seek abortions.

Legislation that would require a 72-hour waiting period for abortions is moving forward in the Missouri House, while its Senate counterpart is stalled.

The Senate Majority Leader says legislation to extend Missouri's abortion waiting period will be debated this week.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA News


The Missouri Senate has taken up a proposal to lengthen the waiting period for abortions from the current 24 hours to 72 hours.

The state's informed consent law mandates a waiting period for a woman to have an abortion after initially seeing a doctor. Women with medical emergencies would remain exempt.

The Senate began debate on the bill Wednesday but adjourned for the day without taking a vote. Separate legislation also has been endorsed by a House committee.

Missouri women would have to wait 72 hours to have an abortion after initially seeing a doctor under legislation endorsed by a state House committee.

Photo by David Shane via Flickr


Missouri women would have to wait 72 hours after seeing a doctor before an abortion could be performed under legislation being considered by the House Health Care Policy Committee.

The panel heard testimony from supporters Wednesday on how the bill would give women more time to think before terminating a pregnancy. Opponents argued the measure would just be a logistical delay designed to push women further into pregnancy before having an abortion, which can increase risk.

Rosemary / Flickr

A Missouri senator is proposing legislation that would require a 72-hour wait before an abortion.

The state currently has a 24-hour informed consent law. Republican David Sater of Cassville says extending that period would provide additional time for reflection. He said he hopes it would reduce the number of abortions.

The legislation has been proposed for the 2014 legislative session starting January 8th.

Opponents contend a longer waiting period would not decrease the number of abortions but simply cause them to happen later in pregnancy, which can increase risk.

Flickr / steakpinball

The outcome of a Texas abortion dispute could have an impact on Missouri.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Without his signature, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has allowed legislation that will require doctors to be in the room for the initial dose of a drug used in medication abortions.

missouri capitol
Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is considering legislation that would require doctors to be in the room for the initial dose of a drug used in medication abortions.

The Republican-led Legislature approved the measure this year. Supporters say the requirement would prohibit abortions using telemedicine and protect a woman's health and safety by ensuring the prescribing physician is present. Critics, however, say the process is safe and that the legislation is a further effort to restrict access to abortion services in Missouri.

jay nixon
File Photo / KBIA

New legislation pending before Gov. Jay Nixon could give people running short of money a new alternative for getting some quick cash.

A bill would make it profitable for Missouri-based banks to offer short-term cash advances, similar to payday loans.

Some nationally chartered banks already offer the short-term loans with fees of around $50 on a $500 loan. Missouri law had allowed such loans, but the Missouri Bankers Association says that few banks offered them because the law set the maximum fee too low.

The Missouri House has endorsed legislation requiring the prescribing doctor to be present when a woman takes any drug to induce an abortion.

The bill received first-round approval 119-41 on Wednesday. It needs another vote to move to the Senate.
Sponsoring House member Jeannie Riddle, a Republican from Mokane, says the legislation is intended to protect women's health and safety. Opponents said the goal appears to be more restriction of abortion.\

Photo courtesy Lana Wilson and Martha Shane.

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Festival.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

Andrew Yost / KBIA

A newly published report says Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin was repeatedly arrested during anti-abortion protests in 1985.

Akin recently acknowledged being arrested once, about 25 years ago, but has declined to discuss additional details.

Todd Akin
File Photo / KBIA

Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin has said he was arrested as an abortion protester about 25 years ago, but he's not saying anything more about it.

Akin campaign adviser Rick Tyler said Wednesday that Akin never was charged and the campaign will not release any further details about the incident.

At a news conference last Friday in Kansas City, Akin acknowledged the arrest but did not go into specifics. An aide had said the campaign would release more details later.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin is again drawing attention for comments about abortion — this time, for saying that doctors are "giving abortions to women who are not actually pregnant."