THE CABIN ANTHRAX, MURPHY, N.C. (CT&P) – Missouri lawmakers enacted one of the nation’s most stringent abortion waiting periods Wednesday, overriding a veto of legislation that will require women to wait 72 hours after consulting with a doctor before ending a pregnancy.
The vote by Missouri’s Republican-led Legislature overrules the veto of Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon, who had denounced the measure as “extreme and disrespectful” toward women because it contains no exception for cases of rape or incest.
About half of the states, including Missouri, already have abortion waiting periods of 24 hours.
Missouri’s new law will be the second most-stringent behind South Dakota, where its 72-hour wait can sometimes extend even longer because weekends and holidays are not counted. Utah is the only other state with a 72-hour delay, but it grants exceptions for rape, incest and other circumstances.
Missouri lawmakers specifically rejected an amendment earlier this year that would have granted exceptions for rape and incest. Abortion opponents argued that it would have diminished the value of some lives depending on how they were conceived.
The state legislature is of course 75% white male.
Legislators also rejected an amendment to the law that would have called for a “five-minute cooling off period” before cops gunned down unarmed black teenagers on Missouri’s city streets. Lawmakers expressed concern that the amendment would sow confusion among “them negras,” and create an atmosphere of disrespect in cities where all white police forces lorded over majority black neighborhoods.
“We just can’t take away an officer’s right to choose,” said Jeffrey Jingo, a state senator from Bigot Bluffs. “If we let young black males freely roam our streets without showing them who’s boss, then all hell could break loose. I mean, you saw what happened in Ferguson, right? The last thing we need is all them colored folks thinking they enjoy the same civil rights as respectable members of our community.”
Planned Parenthood, which operates Missouri’s only licensed abortion clinic in St. Louis, has not said whether it will challenge the 72-hour waiting period in court. But the organization has said its patients travel an average of nearly 100 miles for an abortion, and an extra delay could force them to either make two trips or spend additional money on hotels.
Missouri’s new waiting period law will take effect 30 days after the veto-override vote.