Reproductive rights activists in Missouri are halfway through a 72-hour rally on the steps of the state capitol in protest of a state bill that would require a 72-hour waiting period for women seeking abortion.
The Women’s Filibuster began yesterday at 2 pm and will end on Thursday at 2 pm. Activists are protesting against the expected passage of the bill that would triple Missouri’s waiting period for an abortion from 24 hours to 72 hours – a change that will significantly increase the financial and transportation burdens on women seeking abortions, especially in a state with only one clinic that provides abortions. A live feed of the protest is being shown on the event’s website.
“Missourians are outraged by this dangerous and misguided agenda and have been organizing for months – hundreds rallied last month at a Lobby Day for Women’s Health, and thousands more have called and emailed their legislators,” the website for the protest says. The bottom line is: Lawmakers should be helping Missouri women have more access to medical care, not less.
The Missouri Senate voted shortly after midnight on Tuesday to pass the waiting period bill. Last week, the Missouri Senate voted against providing victims of rape and incest an exemption from the waiting period. The Missouri House already approved a 72-hour waiting period, but the Senate version of the bill removed a requirement, approved by the House, that women watch a state-created video prior to obtaining an abortion. As a result, the Senate-approved version of the bill will return to the Missouri House for a vote.
The Missouri state legislature has considered 29 other anti-abortion proposals during this session alone. If the 72-hour waiting period is passed, Missouri will join South Dakota and Utah as the states with the longest waiting period.
Media Resources: St. Louis Post-Dispatch 5/13/14, 5/6/14; The Women’s Filibuster; Feministing 5/12/14; Feminist Newswire 5/10/12, 3/11/13, 1/28/14