A woman's right to choose and abortion in general is a topic that gets the attention of both liberals and conservatives. In one state, a new anti-abortion law would make it harder for rape victims to get access to care.
In a state that is already one of the most restrictive for abortion services, a state Republican lawmaker is proposing a new bill that would triple the wait time for an abortion. Currently in the state of Missouri, women have to wait the mandatory 24 hours before having an abortion done, the new law would extend that time to 72 hours.
As Politicmo points out, state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed (D-St. Louis) filed an amendment to the bill that would have exempted victims of rape and incest from the waiting period. Republicans soon followed and voted down the exemption. Slater stated that Republicans voted down the amendment because Democrats aren't thinking about the unborn child.
“There has been no talk about the unborn child. Not one person has mentioned anything about the unborn child. Should the unborn child of rape victim have different a life or be less important than another unborn child? I don’t believe so. I think they’re both equal and should be treated as such."
When asked to elaborate on his statement, Slater called an abortion, even for those who are victims of rape or incest, an "elective surgery," comparing it to a surgery he would have done on his knee.
“Next Tuesday, I’m going to see my orthopedic surgeon because I've been having some extended knee problems, and we’re going to get an opinion on what I should do. It would be elective surgery. And so, he will give me some time to contemplate about my decision on whether not I should have surgery or not, and we will probably make the best informed decision that we can.
Having an abortion is an elective procedure, elective surgery. It’s the same thing. And I want the patients to have plenty of time to be able to have an understanding of what they are going to have done in the elective surgery."
In response to Republicans voting down the exemption for rape and incest victims, Democrat Sen. Nasheed simply said he was “appalled.”
According to KBIA news, the bill is likely to pass the Republican controlled legislature. Missouri has been moving further to the political right on the issue of abortion. In the city of St. Louis, there is currently only one clinic that will perform an abortion.