House Bill 1307 in the Missouri Legislature calls for a 72-hour waiting period, after seeing a doctor, for women considering abortions. That would be a change from current law that requires 24 hours of wait time.
"We're actually giving the unborn child a little more time to have its mother consider whether or not it needs to be terminated," said state Rep. Kevin Elmer, R - Nixa, who sponsored the bill.
Elmer is anti-abortion and believes the measure would benefit mothers.
"We're wanting the mothers to have adequate knowledge about what the procedure is and have time to give it consideration," he said.
Opponents of the measure question Elmer's reasoning. They say women already have adequate time to make informed decisions.
"Women have moral agency and rational ability to make decisions regarding their healthcare. A 72 hour wait period is nothing more than a burdensome and shaming tactic," said Pamela Sumners with Pro-Choice Missouri.
Elmer said "shaming" women is not the purpose of the bill. He does believe, however, that it would reduce the number of abortions. That is counter to the view of officials with Planned Parenthood.
"In every State that has passed forced delay laws, there has been an increase in late and mid-trimester abortion, not a decrease in overall abortion rates," said Paula Gianino with Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri.
Two other states already have the mandatory 72-hour wait period for abortions, but the laws are fairly new. For now, the Missouri measure is still in committee. Elmer said it could be voted on as early as next week.