Several hundred supporters of women’s rights rallied against the bill inside and outside the capitol in Jefferson City the day of the vote to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of the bill. A similar number of people were there to support the restriction.
Groups defending women’s right to choose abortion included Planned Parenthood, the National Organization for Women, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Caucus of Jewish Women, Catholics for Choice, Missouri Women United and the Coalition of Labor Union Women.
Like 20 other states, Missouri already had a 24-hour waiting period for abortions. “The law was already burdensome,” M’Evie Mead, director of statewide organizing for Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri, said in a phone interview. “The new law is intended to shame or coerce the woman. There is only one licensed provider of abortions in Missouri — the Planned Parenthood Clinic in St. Louis. The average woman travels nearly 100 miles to that clinic, and one in 10 travels 300 miles.”
“It means it will cost more to get an abortion,” Jamie Tomek, president of Missouri NOW, said, “because you have to have two appointments, you have to make two trips, you have to take two days off work.”
“This bill is further intrusion of politicians into Missourians’ personal lives,” said Laura McQuade, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, in a Sept. 10 press statement.
“We all want women to have the information and support they need to make a carefully considered decision about a pregnancy,” said the statement. “This law won’t do that. It will block access to safe, legal abortion and target women who already have the least access to medical care.”
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