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Mo. House Endorses 72-Hour Delay, Mandatory Video Before Abortions

March 7, 2014 — The Missouri House on Wednesday endorsed a bill (HB 1307/1313) that would extend the state's mandatory delay before an abortion to 72 hours, up from 24 hours, the AP/Washington Times reports (Shapiro, AP/Washington Times, 3/6).

In addition to extending the delay, the bill would require women seeking an abortion to watch a video with information about the procedure. Women in Missouri already are required to receive written and verbal information before abortions (French, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 3/5).

The House voted 115-37 in support of the bill, but it will need one more vote in the chamber before advancing to the state Senate.

The state Senate on Wednesday debated its version (SB 519) but postponed a vote after Democratic senators spoke in opposition for nearly four hours.

Debate

State Rep. Kevin Elmer (R) said that a longer delay before a woman has an abortion is needed because of "the severity of the decision" she is about to make. State Rep. Linda Black (D) said she introduced the amendment requiring women to watch a video based on the different learning styles of her students when she was a teacher.

Democrats opposing the bill argued abortion access already is severely restricted in Missouri, where there is only one abortion clinic.

During Senate debate, state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed (D) said, "Hopefully this bill will go down in flames," adding that the bill's Senate sponsor, state Sen. David Sater (R), "should not be in the womb of a woman" (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 3/5).