Missouri Legislature overrides Gov. Nixon’s veto of needlessly punitive abortion bill

Missouri last night officially became the third state in the union to pass into law a bill requiring a 72-hour waiting period for women seeking an abortion. In doing so, MIssouri joins ranks with Utah and South Dakota, proud states that humiliate and heap undue financial hardship on women during an already difficult time in their lives. 

Nixon vetoed the bill back in July, calling it “insulting to women.” He pointed out that state law already required Missouri women to make two trips to the health center and wait at least 24 hours before having an abortion. 

In a special session held Wednesday in Jefferson City, Republicans in the Legislature were determined to override Nixon’s veto. A filibuster of the bill, led by outgoing Democratic state Sen. Jolie Justus, was interrupted after two hours by Republicans. A vote was then held, and the Republicans in the Legislature succeeded in overriding the veto. 

In a release condemning the Legislature’s actions, Planned Parenthood noted that a Missouri woman travels, on average, nearly 100 miles to and from the state’s only abortion provider, and that “one in 10 travel more than 300 miles for a safe and legal abortion.”

“This bill is further intrusion of politicians into Missourians’ personal lives,” said Laura McQuade, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, in a statement. “We all want women to have the information and support they need to make a carefully considered decision about a pregnancy—this law won’t do that. It will block access to safe, legal abortion and target women who already have the least access to medical care.”

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