Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has indicated that he may veto a bill that would extend the waiting period for a woman seeking an abortion in the state from 24 to 72 hours. This comes in contrast to comments the governor made following the bill’s passage that made his intentions unclear.
Missouri lawmakers voted on final passage of HB 1307 Wednesday, as it passed the house by a vote of 111 to 39. Republicans broke a Democrat-led filibuster meant to block the legislation in the early morning hours Tuesday, as the senate voted to pass the bill. Reproductive rights activists had staged their own “Women’s Filibuster” outside the capitol building in protest of the bill.
Planned Parenthood has called on Nixon to veto the legislation. In a statement, Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards said that the bill is an “intrusion of politicians” into the lives of Missouri women and their families. “Governor Nixon must veto this bill and stand firmly with a woman’s right to make her own private medical decisions, including the decision of whether to have an abortion, in consultation with her doctor,” Richards said.
In a statement released by
Gov. Nixon Thursday, he said that the bill would get the same “comprehensive review” that all legislation receives. “However, it is clear that by failing to include an exception for rape and incest, this extreme proposal would separate Missouri from all but one other state in the nation,” said Nixon. “I have profound concerns about its impact on women and especially the victims of these heinous crimes.”
Ryann Summerford of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, told RH Reality Check that the governor’s statement is a positive development. “I think that his statement is very promising indication that he is going to veto HB 1307,” said Summerford. “We look forward to the governor doing” just that.
Nixon has 15 days to sign or veto the bill. If Nixon vetoes, the legislature can override the veto with a two-thirds vote of both houses.