Supporters and opponents of abortion rights both hope that their side will be prompted to head to the polls next month by the votes this year to triple the waiting period for an abortion in Missouri.
The state legislature voted to overturn Governor Jay Nixon’s (D) veto of a bill that tripled the time a woman in Missouri must wait for an abortion from 24-hours to 72. Abortion rights supporters and opponents both hope that will spur their side to head to the polls to vote on legislative seats.
St. Louis regional president of Planned Parenthood, Paula Gianino, says it’s up to Missouri voters to stop what she calls a relentless attack on women’s health.
“We’ve done our best, frankly, to try to change legislators’ heads and hearts, and really what’s left is that we have to change who goes to the legislature,” says Gianino. “We have to change the faces.”
Missouri Right to Life President Pam Fichter says Missourians have consistently supported candidates who don’t support abortion.
“When the voters have the evidence on the facts of abortion, when they know the position of the candidate and their voting records, that they are more likely to choose pro-life candidates,” says Fichter. “We are hoping that they will maintain that priority and even add to the bipartisan majority that we have for life in both houses of the Missouri legislature.”
Gianino, in saying she hopes to “change the faces” of the legislature, says the results of such change wouldn’t be limited just to those two chambers.
“Changing the faces will also have an impact on who gets appointed to courts,” says Gianino. “Judges and people who sit on state and federal courts are appointed, and these are the remedies that really are within our control.”
The Senate vote for that veto override was along party lines, but nine Democrats sided with the majority of Republicans in the House to vote for the longer waiting period.