Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon vetoes abortion bill, won't support 72-hour wait period

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed an abortion bill on Thursday that would have extended the wait time for getting an abortion from 24 hours to 72 hours. Had he passed the bill, Missouri would only be the third state to require such a lengthy wait time.

In a letter, Nixon said that the conservative legislature failed to show that such a wait period would serve any purpose “other than to create emotional and financial hardships for women who have undoubtedly already spent considerable time wrestling with perhaps the most difficult decision they may ever have to make,” reports The Riverfront Times.

Nixon wrote three pages explaining his decision, noting that the bill “presupposes that women are unable to make up their own minds without further government intervention.” He even referred to it as an “insult to women,” notes The New York Times.

According to the News-Leader, the bill required women to wait 72 hours after their first appointment with a doctor about having an abortion before having the procedure.

Rep. Kevin Elmer, a Republican, sponsored the bill, which didn’t include any exception for rape or incest. He believes that life begins at conception and, even in cases of rape, that life should be protected.

Of course, the victory will likely be short-lived. In September, the legislature can overturn the veto with a two-thirds majority. The bill initially passed with sizeable majorities in both houses, so Nixon will have to do a lot of work to keep his veto alive.

You can read his full veto letter here.

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