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      Missouri House panel backs 72-hour abortion wait period


      Missouri women would have to wait 72 hours to have an abortion after initially seeing a doctor under legislation endorsed by a state House committee.


      The bill endorsed by the House Health Care Policy Committee on Wednesday would align Missouri with Utah and South Dakota as the only states with 3-day waiting periods.


      Missouri's current waiting period is 24 hours. Supporters of the bill say a woman needs more time to make such a substantive decision. Opponents argue extending the waiting period poses a logistical barrier designed to push a woman further into pregnancy before an abortion and increases the risks.


      The bill now heads to the House Rules Committee for further consideration. It is sponsored by Republican Rep. Kevin Elmer, of Nixa.

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