Mo. House Advances 72-Hour Mandatory Delay, Parental Involvement Measures

March 12, 2014 — The Missouri House on Tuesday passed a bill (HB 1307/1313) that would triple the state's mandatory delay period before an abortion, from 24 hours to 72 hours after a woman sees a physician, the AP/ABC News reports.

The bill would not apply in medical emergencies (Shapiro, AP/ABC News, 3/12). 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 (Women's Health Policy Report, 3/7).

The state House passed the bill by a 115-39 vote, with nine Democrats voting in support of the measure. The final vote was six votes greater than what would be needed to override a veto by Gov. Jay Nixon (D). Nixon said during a Monday news conference that he would review the bill, which now heads to the state Senate.

Rally and Debate

The House vote came after antiabortion-rights groups rallied in the state Capitol's rotunda. Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones (R) said during the rally, "If you are going to make a decision about life or death, shouldn't it take more than three days to think about it?"

However, opponents said the bill would push women to have abortions later in pregnancy. Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri CEO and President Paula Gianino said the bill could "force women to undergo more complicated abortion procedures."