The right to life of many future preborn children in Missouri will be determined this week when the Missouri Legislature meets in the State Capitol for its annual veto session. Legislative leaders will be seeking to override Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of legislation to extend the waiting period for an abortion from 24 to 72 hours.
This is one of the most significant life-saving measures the Missouri General Assembly has adopted in quite some time, and it is critical that this bill be enacted over the Governor’s objections.
Should this bill (House Bill 1307) become law, many women will be saved from making hasty uninformed decisions to abort their children, decisions they will so often tearfully regret for the rest of their lives. Many women will be given additional time to stand up to the pressure of others urging them to destroy the life of their unborn child. Many preborn children will see the light of day because their mothers had sufficient time to reflect on the consequences of abortion to them and the child in their womb.
Under current Missouri law, abortion clinics are prohibited from performing abortions on women until 24 hours after they have first visited the abortion facility. At that time, women meet with a “counselor” who must provide them with information supplied by the state detailing the abortion procedure and alternatives they may wish to consider. Women are given a packet developed by the Department of Health and Senior Services which they are able to take home and review as they evaluate their options.
That packet includes information about the humanity of the unborn child, including illustrations of the development of the child at various stages of gestation. The women must be offered the opportunity to view an ultrasound of the child, and to hear the heartbeat of the child if it is audible. The packet explains the nature of various abortion procedures, and the risks to the woman’s physical and mental health.
The woman is given information regarding alternatives to abortion including adoption, and is supplied with the names and addresses of pregnancy resource centers which will support her decision to carry her child to term. She is provided information about government programs which will assist her with prenatal and newborn care.
The purpose of House Bill 1307 is to ensure that the woman has adequate time to consider and reflect on the substantial amount of information she has been provided. The additional 48 hours also helps guarantee that the decision the woman is making is truly her own, and not the result of coercion from other parties who would benefit from the “termination” of her pregnancy. Women are often under intense pressure from boyfriends, parents, and even grandparents to “solve the problem” through a quick abortion. Sexual predators and perpetrators of statutory rape are anxious to remove the evidence of their crime.
The proposal to extend the abortion waiting period was initiated by Senator David Sater of Cassville. The bill ultimately adopted by the General Assembly was sponsored by Representatives Kevin Elmer of Nixa and Keith Frederick of Rolla. The legislation received enthusiastic support in both chambers of the Legislature, with the House approving it by a vote of 111-39, and the Senate by a vote of 22-9.
It would appear that there is sufficient support to override Governor Nixon’s veto. However, this can by no means be presumed. If even one supportive senator is absent because of illness or a family emergency, the veto override would fail. We ask that you be praying that all pro-life legislators are present and accounted for at the time of the vote on the override.
The motion to override the Governor’s veto may happen as early as tomorrow–Wednesday, September 10th. It is urgent that you take the time immediately to call your state senator and state representative to urge their vote for House Bill 1307, the 72-hour waiting period bill. Please do not set this aside to another time. Please call or e-mail your legislators right now.
You will find the contact information for your state senator at this link:
You will find the contact info for your state representative at this link:
This is a momentous hour for the pro-life cause not only in Missouri, but in our nation as well. Should this bill be enacted, Missouri would be the third state in the nation with a 72-hour waiting period for abortion. It is highly likely that the law will withstand any legal challenges. It is also likely that other states would follow Missouri’s lead, and enact similar lifesaving measures.
This pro-life bill is a major threat to the abortion industry. So much so that pro-abortion forces have mobilized a concentrated lobbying effort to sustain the Governor’s vetoes. Pro-abortion leaders are sending buses of abortion advocates to the State Capitol. The effort is sponsored by Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, the National Organization for Women, and PROMO, the state’s leading homosexual rights organization.
Please be praying for a favorable outcome to the vote on House Bill 1307. And please make a call to the offices of your state legislator right now!
LifeNews.com Note: Joe Oertwerth writes for the Missouri Family Policy Council.