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Lawmakers consider 24-hour waiting period on abortions

February 5, 2003
By: Elizabeth Gill
State Capital Bureau

A house bill that would require a 24-hour waiting period for an abortion drew heated responses from both sides of the abortion debate. Elizabeth Gill has more in Jefferson City:

OutCue: SOC

Supporters of the bill tearfully testified to a house committee that a 24-hour waiting period would have changed their decision to terminate their own pregnancies.

One supporters said she had an abortion after a doctor told her she was not medically able to complete a full term pregnancy.

She later learned the diagnosis was incorrect.

She says a 24-hour waiting period could give other women time to consider their options:

Actuality: stanley1 "24 hours to come to their senses or simply get an accurate medical opinion without bias. In many cases pro choice becomes no choice for women who haven't really had the chance to consider the choice of life."
RunTime: :14
OutCue: "choice of life"

One abortion rights group says the bill imposes sexist counseling requirements on women.

From the state capital, I'm Elizabeth Gill, KMOX news.

Both sides of the abortion debate react strongly to a bill that would require a 24-hour waiting period for an abortion. Elizabeth Gill has the story in Jefferson City:

The 24-hour law would require women to make two separate trips to the doctor, one for the consultation and one for the abortion.

Two trips may mean added travel, expenses and repeated absenses from work.

Opponents say these are options some women don't have.

Caroline Sullivan, the executive director for the Missouri chapter of the National Abortion Rights Action League, says the bill violates women's rights:

Actuality:sullyebg2 "if enacted, house bill 156 would impose gender bias or sexist counseling requirements on a women facing a private medical decision."
RunTime: :10
OutCue: "medical decision."

Supporters of the bill included women who had abortions and said they later regretted the decision.

They said the 24-hour law would give women more time to consider their options.

From the state capital, I'm Elizabeth Gill.