Missouri Senate to resume debate on abortion waiting period

03/03/2014 7:06 AM

03/03/2014 7:29 AM

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

Republican Sen. Ron Richard, of Joplin, says the chamber will resume debate on the measure, which would require 72 hours to pass before a woman can have an abortion after seeing a doctor. Current law requires women to wait one day before an abortion can occur.

Debate on the bill, SB 519, began two weeks ago, but it was set aside.

Supporters say the current 24-hour window is too short for a woman to decide if she wants to terminate her pregnancy. Opponents say the bill would push women further into pregnancy before the procedure, which can increase risk.

South Dakota and Utah are the only states to have a 72-hour waiting period.

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