Abortion bill heads to Governor Nixon

Gov. Nixon has until mid-July to act on the bill.

A controversial bill that would triple the amount of time women have to wait between their first doctor's consultation and an abortion procedure awaits a decision from Governor Jay Nixon.

The bill got final approval from the Missouri legislature Wednesday night.

Opponents are calling on Gov. Nixon to veto the bill, saying a longer waiting period increases health risks and the bill is a violation of women's rights.

"We really feel that this is an intrusion of the worst kind on women's rights," Ryann Summerford, statewide manager of government affairs for Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri, said Thursday.

"To force a woman to wait 72 hours to come in...that's going to require two office really an undue burden on the women of this state."

Gov. Nixon has joined opponents in expressing concern that the legislation does not include an exemption to the waiting period for victims of rape and incest.

Supporters of the bill say Nixon needs to meet more of those victims.

"There is a group called 'Silent No More.' These are women who have had abortions and they are coming out and speaking and telling their story," Bonnie Lee, a volunteer for pro-life group 40 Days for Life, said.

"Many of them who had been raped say that when they go through the abortion they feel like they're being raped again. And the women who have been raped and have carried their babies and given life to them, whether they've raised them as their child or given them to adoption, they feel like they have overcome by giving life to this child."

The only exemption to the current waiting period is medical emergencies, and that would stay with the new law.

Two other states, Utah and South Dakota, currently have a three-day waiting period. Utah's bill exempts cases of rape and incest.

Governor Nixon has until mid-July to act on the bill.