Abortion

(via Flickr/Jennifer Boriss)

(Updated 12:15 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 11)

The Missouri General Assembly has made the state the third in the country to require a 72-hour waiting period before a woman can obtain an abortion, after the state Senate killed off a filibuster.

The Senate voted 23-7 – along party lines -- to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of the bill, but only after deploying a procedural action that it hadn’t used in seven years to end a Democratic filibuster that had gone on for about two hours.

Parth Shah/St. Louis Public Radio

Let’s not mince any words: If he's elected later this year, neither St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley nor Councilman Steve Stenger will have any power to alter Missouri’s abortion policies. 

The county executive essentially has no authority to enact or repeal restrictions on abortion – the state does. And it’s highly unlikely that Stenger's or Dooley’s power of persuasion will change the course of a Missouri legislature overwhelmingly opposed to abortion rights.

Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Public Radio

This story was updated following St. Louis on the Air.

Former U.S. Rep. Todd Akin is back, and he’s not sorry.

Two years after losing a contest for U.S. Senate and igniting a “war on women” debate with a comment about rape, Akin has written a book that offers behind-the-scenes details about how he, his campaign and his family coped.

In an August 2012 interview with Charles Jaco on KTVI (Channel 2), Akin was asked about abortion and rape. Akin, who is staunchly anti-abortion, said that a pregnancy from rape “is really rare.”

/ File photo

(Updated 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 2)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed a bill that would have tripled the state’s waiting period for an abortion to 72 hours, saying it reflected  “a callous disregard for women who find themselves in horrific circumstances.”

The governor noted in Wednesday’s veto message that the bill, HB 1307, had no exceptions for rape or incest.

“This extreme and disrespectful measure would unnecessarily prolong the suffering of rape and incest victims and jeopardize the health and wellbeing of women,” Nixon said Wednesday.

Governments cannot ban anti-abortion "sidewalk counselors" from a 35-foot buffer zone that includes the sidewalk in front of an abortion clinic unless the governments first have tried less restrictive methods of protecting women from face-to-face intimidation as they enter reproductive health facilities.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 11:40 a.m Thursday, May 15)

After more than an hour of emotional – and often loud – debate, the Missouri House voted to send to the governor a bill that would triple Missouri’s waiting period for abortions to 72 hours from 24 hours.

If approved by Gov. Jay Nixon, the measure would make Missouri only the third state in the nation to mandate a 72-hour wait – and possibly set the stage for a legal challenge.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Republicans in the Missouri Senate succeeded in passing two of their top priorities early Tuesday morning.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

For at least 35 years, Missouri has been one of the major battlefields in the ongoing fight over reproductive rights, contraception and abortion.

Based on the last few weeks in Jefferson City, not much has changed.

“Missouri is one of the really hot states, when it comes to abortion restrictions this year,’’ said Elizabeth Nash, state issues manager with the Guttmacher Institute, a research group advocating sexual and reproductive health rights.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Legislation that would require a 72-hour waiting period for abortions is moving forward in the Missouri House, while its Senate counterpart is stalled.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Medical personnel who wish to opt out of participating in procedures that violate their religious or personal beliefs are one step closer to being allowed to do so legally in Missouri.

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Tuesday morning, thousands of Missourians — many of them from the St. Louis area — are following a decades-old tradition and boarding buses for an all-night bus ride to Washington.

On Wednesday, the Missouri contingent will join tens of thousands of others from around the country for the annual March for Life in the nation’s capital to protest the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing most abortions.

Missouri State House of Representatives

 A lawsuit filed on behalf of a Missouri state representative is aimed at changing a mandate from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that he says violates his religious rights.

Paul Wieland, a Republican House member from Imperial, says he and his wife are no longer able to opt out of coverage for “abortion-inducing drugs” under a group health care plan provided for legislators.

He says that option has been removed because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Marshall Griffin, KWMU

With just a couple days left before the deadline, Democratic Governor Jay Nixon announced his decision on the few bills he had left. We've compiled those decisions below.

Without his signature, Nixon has allowed legislation that will require doctors to be in the room for the initial dose of a drug used in medication abortions.

Nixon announced Friday he would not sign the bill that effectively prohibits the use of telemedicine to provide medication abortions in Missouri. Without the signature, the bill becomes law.

(via Flickr/s_falkow)

Updated 11:08 a.m., 12:42 p.m., 3:19 p.m. (with reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Brian Mackey)

A lengthy legal battle over an abortion notification law appears to be ending, clearing the way for Illinois to begin enforcing a 1995 measure requiring doctors to notify a girl's parents before she undergoes the procedure.

Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court ruling says the case shouldn't be reconsidered and has to be enforced - unless there's an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A Missouri Senate Committee has passed legislation that puts restrictions on the use of abortion-inducing drugs. 

The bill would require the prescribing doctor to be physically present whenever a patient takes RU-486 or any other medication designed to terminate a pregnancy.  Supporters say it’s designed to prevent so-called “web-cam abortions,” in which a doctor at another location instructs the patient on taking the medicine.

Susan Klein of Missouri Right to Life testified in favor of the bill before the vote.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Four bills dealing with the ongoing cultural battle surrounding women’s reproductive health were heard Monday night before a Missouri Senate committee.

They include a measure that would require a doctor to be physically present whenever abortion-inducing drugs are administered to a woman.  It’s sponsored by freshman Senator Wayne Wallingford (R, Cape Girardeau).  He says women who take RU-486 or other abortion-inducing drugs at home run a severe risk of complications.

(via Flickr)

Tuesday is the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v Wade, the landmark case that legalized abortion.

Groups on both sides of the controversial issue will be marking the day.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis was the first Catholic diocese to organize a Pro Life committee just 6 weeks after the famous court ruling.

Today that committee is called the Respect Life Apostolate.

Executive Director Karen Nolkemper says the Archdiocese will focus on commemoration of the un-born  and recommitting to ending abortion.

(Via Wikimedia Commons/Victor byckttor)

Giving women free access to contraception can dramatically reduce abortion rates.

That's the finding of a new study out today from Washington University School of Medicine.

Researchers gave more than 9,000 St. Louis-area women free birth control for three years.

(Akin: UPI Bill Greenblatt/McCaskill: Flickr/SenatorMcCaskill)

Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill says she raised about $5.8 million for her re-election campaign over the past three months.

McCaskill, who's being challenged by Republican congressman Todd Akin, said today her total is the most money ever raised by a Missouri Senate candidate for this quarter.

Candidates are not required to file their quarterly campaign finance reports until Oct. 15. Akin has not yet released his.

(via Flickr/lilhelen)

Brian Mackey contributed reporting for this story.

A decades-long battle over an Illinois law that requires girls to notify their parents before having an abortion was in front of the state's Supreme Court on Thursday.

The parental notification law has been on the books since the 1990s, but a series of federal and state court challenges have kept it from being enforced. It was supposed to take effect in 2006, which set off a fresh round of lawsuits.

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