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.