JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (CN) - A bill that would triple the waiting period required for an abortion and force women to watch a video first has gained initial approval from the Missouri House.
The bill would extend the waiting period from 24 to 72 hours. That means a three-day wait - from the time a woman gets state-mandated informed-consent materials that include information about the procedure, health risks and alternatives - until the abortion can be performed.
The bill contains a heightened informed-consent measure: Women seeking an abortion would have to watch a video containing the same information that is given to them verbally and in written form.
Twenty-six states have waiting period laws for abortion. Utah and South Dakota have the longest waiting periods, at 72 hours.
Supporters claim that since it is such an emotional issue, the extra time is needed to make a clear decision.
Opponents say there are already restrictions on abortion and that the decision has already been made before a woman goes to get an abortion.
The bill gained first-round approval by a 115-37 vote. It must pass another vote in the House before moving to the Senate.