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Missouri Advocates Filibuster for 72 Hours, But the Abortion Waiting Period Still Passes

Missouri Advocates Filibuster for 72 Hours, But the Abortion Waiting Period Still Passes

How long 72 hours is may depend on who you ask. For the Missouri activists supporting abortion rights, it’s a very long time to make someone wait between clinic appointments, and, to prove it, they stood on the steps of the capitol for three days straight speaking out against it.

Dubbed The Women’s Filibuster, the reproductive rights advocates attempted to follow in the footsteps of that famous Texas filibuster last summer that ground the state’s abortion bans to a halt — at least, until the governor called another special session to push them through again. But unlike the Texas version, it had to happen outside the legislature, since the lawmakers inside the building chose to kill their own filibuster early in exchange for potentially getting some leverage on voter ID laws and worker’s rights.

By Tuesday morning, the Senate had already approved the new 72 hour waiting period between first and second appointments at an abortion clinic, a waiting period that would not be waived for victims of sexual assault. “They actually think what is best for a woman who has been raped and impregnated by a relative, is to remain pregnant and wait 72 MORE hours to think about whether our not she wants to terminate,” writes activist and comedienne Lizz Winstead. “No really. This is how they value women. The message is loud and clear.”

Despite the capitulation in the Senate, the Women’s Filibuster continued on until 2 pm Thursday, a full 72 hours after it began. The time was filled by testimonies, letters and reading aloud from a variety of texts (including a full reading of my own book, which my coauthor and I were extremely honored by). None of the words, however, swayed House members, who then voted Wednesday night to pass the bill, even stating that their primary goal was to ensure God’s will was done.

“The crux of it is for me when does life begin, and how do you value it? For me, even though that tragic situation may occur, I still believe that God is at work in this world and that he’ll let bad things happen and he doesn’t cause it,” said Republican Rep. Kevin Elmer, the House sponsor, who defended his bill, including a refusal to add rape exceptions, as a battle to defend the rights of the unborn.

The filibuster continued after the vote passed, and the bill was just a governor’s signature from becoming law. They continued speaking despite the cold, the dark, the futility of their efforts to derail it before it went to the governor. They continued to fight not because they could stop the bill in the legislature, but because the bill deserved to be fought against, whether it was a fight that could be won at the Capitol or not.

“Male politicians and their paternalistic abortion laws deserve a fight like this,” writes Jessica Valenti at The Guardian. “When Thursday comes and the women’s filibuster ends, the new waiting period for abortions will still be there. But so will women like [advocate Liz] Read-Katz, who will tell their stories until Missouri’s anti-choice legislators feel the shame that they so desperately want to impose on women.”

Now, the only thing stopping a 72 hour wait that will likely drive pregnant people out of the state for abortions is the Democratic Governor Jay Nixon, who has a habit of refusing to either sign or veto anti-abortion legislation, preferring to just let it become law without his fingers all over it. This time, however, there are Capitol steps full of people who will be urging him to veto this bill and stop the GOP from trampling the rights of pregnant people in the state. And there are even more supporters behind them, urging him to stand up for their rights.

The Women’s Filibuster may have only been 72 hours long, but that doesn’t mean that anyone’s work is over. Now, it is time to demand a veto.

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Photo credit: Thinkstock

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2:17PM PDT on Sep 1, 2014

How can they be so controlling. If you needed an abortion, you should be able to obtain one ASAP.

3:32PM PDT on May 22, 2014

And it looks like Missouri is another state where I can open up my chain of illegal abortion clinics with "doctors" and "nurses" trained by me with certificates printed by me signed by autopen and professional looking name tags, ID badges, and lab coats. Lots of lab coats. Everyone wears a lab coat. It's our standard uniform, and it's tax deductible too.

I've already got several clinics in Texas and Louisiana. The whole operation is designed like a rock concert stage, to be dismantled, put into a tractor trailer, and sent to the next location in a matter of a few hours. Of course we want restrictions on legal abortion clinics. Better yet, shut em all down. Less competition means more money in my pocket. Y'know, it's getting harder and harder to get good wire coathangers these days. Everyone seems to want the fat plastic ones, which are absolutely useless for our purposes.

3:25PM PDT on May 22, 2014

Mick C says "A rape exclusion is available" but the article says otherwise.

By Tuesday morning, the Senate had already approved the new 72 hour waiting period between first and second appointments at an abortion clinic, a waiting period that would not be waived for victims of sexual assault. “They actually think what is best for a woman who has been raped and impregnated by a relative, is to remain pregnant and wait 72 MORE hours to think about whether our not she wants to terminate,” writes activist and comedienne Lizz Winstead. “No really. This is how they value women. The message is loud and clear.”

Show me that rape exception, Mick C, because the author of the article clearly says there is no rape exception.

3:15PM PDT on May 22, 2014

"Boy, these conservatives are really something, aren't they? They're all in favor of the unborn. They will do anything for the unborn. But once you're born, you're on your own. Pro-life conservatives are obsessed with the fetus from conception to nine months. After that, they don't want to know about you. They don't want to hear from you. No nothing. No neonatal care, no day care, no head start, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothing. If you're preborn, you're fine; if you're preschool, you're f**ked." -George Carlin

11:38AM PDT on May 22, 2014

Its not a child jsut because we choose to call it one. At 20 weeks and befoe it is NOT a himan sentient being. It has no idea that it exists. Hell even after its born it has NO concept of self, It has the potential to be human but it is not human at 20 weeks.

Murder is a legal term. Society likes to break down killing into various categories. In face killing is simply killing. JUst because society sanctions one over the other doesnt mean the activit is any different. Murder is assigned by a court of law. It doesnt matter if YOU call it murder. You are inaccurate.

5:46AM PDT on May 22, 2014

Paul B. "This law is not meant to STOP abortions... just give a pregnant female an opportunity to reconsider and make sure it REALLY is what she wants"

Paul B, Does someone, somewhere in the paranoid fantasyland of your republican, alternative universe force you to get an abortion on the day after you were raped, and before you had time to reconsider?

Paul, rest assured. There is no boogie-man in the shadows that will force you to abort your rapist-Daddy's zygote the next time you are assaulted. That decision rests solely with you and your obstetrician. No one is going to force you to distance yourself from the rapist. You two are free to live out the rest of your days under your "Joint custody" agreement. (That is, as soon as your baby-daddy gets out of prison.)I'll bet you're relieved.

It must be very confusing up there in that spagetti-logic brain of yours.

Glad I could help straighten this out there, Paulee. It should help you sleep better knowing that you are free to carry your rapist-daddy's sperm to term. We'll leave your door ajar and the light on in the hall, just in case. Night night.

5:38AM PDT on May 22, 2014

Claire J.--interesting comparison, but here's where your argument falls apart. If I have to wait a few days to get a tattoo (for example), no harm done. Not to mention in many places it's not too hard to find a legitimate tattoo parlor. Not so abortion providers. Did you know that 87 percent of U.S. counties have no abortion provider? And that many states have only one? This means a woman must drive long distances to access them, taking time off work, worrying about care for the children she may have already, to get an appointment. And the longer a woman has to wait for an abortion, the riskier the procedure is.

The people who propose this sort of legislation all but admit their battle is to protect the unborn. Well, how about protecting those who have already been born? Or does their concern for that "baby" end once its feet have cleared the birth canal?

Laws like this will drive women who can afford it to a place where they don't have a waiting period. Women who can't afford it will end up in a place much like the one that scumbag Gosnell ran.

2:22AM PDT on May 22, 2014

ty

8:23AM PDT on May 21, 2014

Deborah, the point is NOT what YOU ''believe'' about the ''rights'' of a zygote.

The point is that abortion is a legal procedure and neither you nor anyone else has a ''right'' to interfere in the private decisions of a woman and her doctor.

Many Catholics disagree with tubal ligations....birth control being a ''sin'' and all. Should they be able to demand a ban on my ligation because THEY don't ''believe'' in it?

All this flapdoodle is really about is this....RELIGIONS SEEKING CONTROL OVER EVERYONE.

7:26AM PDT on May 20, 2014

Deborah W. I do not believe it is not murder.. I know it is not murder. The Constitution and common sense informs me that an abortion is not murder. It is in fact a medical procedure. All these laws which either have been or will be signed into law are all designed for one purpose. To roll back the legal rights of women. Thereby making all women in the U. S. effectively a second class citizen. I am not here to convince you or any anti choice adherent of my view point. Just to correct your misinformed opinion.

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