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Missouri Governor vetoes abortion waiting period

Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri.
Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri.Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

On Wednesday, Missori Governor, Democrat Jay Nixon vetoed a measure that would have required a 72-hour waiting period for women who were seekign abortions.

Nixon said that because the measure allowed no exception for rape and incest victimes that the legislation showed a "callous disregard for women."

In a press release, Nixon said:

“This extreme and disrespectful measure would unnecessarily prolong the suffering of rape and incest victims and jeopardize the health and wellbeing of women. By failing to include an exception for rape and incest, House Bill 1307 demonstrates a callous disregard for women who find themselves in horrific circumstances and would make Missouri one of just two states in the nation to take such an extreme step. Lengthening the already extensive waiting period serves no demonstrable purpose other than to create emotional and financial hardships for women who have undoubtedly already spent considerable time wrestling with perhaps the most difficult decision they may ever have to make.”

It is possible that the Republican controlled legislature has the necessary votes to overturn the veto.

The bill was sponsored by Republican Representative Kevin Elmer of Nixa and would make Missouri the third state, following South Dakota and Utah to institute a three-day waiting requirement.

Elmer said that he sponsored the measure in order to give women additional time to consider their decision. Elmer said "I'm confident that we've got more than ample numbers to override the governor's veto."

Currently, Missouri law requires a 24-hour wait for an abortion after a woman consults a physician. There is no exception for rape or incest.

Senator David Sater, another sponsor of the measure said, “Serious elected officials remember that unborn children are not abstractions to play politics with,” he said. “They are real. They are human beings like you and me and deserve protection under the law." Adding th at Missourians, “do not think three days is too much time to decide whether to bring a child into this world.” [Kansas City Star]