The Missouri Senate on Tuesday voted down an amendment that would have exempted rape victims from a proposed three-day waiting period for abortions, three times the current 24-hour wait.
The Guttmacher Institute told KBIA that Missouri lawmakers have proposed so many abortion restrictions during this session that experts are having trouble keeping track. But state Senator David Sater’s (R) SB 519 was one of the most troubling because if the state passes the 72-hour rule, it would be just one of just three states in the country with the strictest waiting periods.
On Tuesday, Democratic state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed filed an amendment to exempt rape victims from the new rule. That amendment was voted down by Republicans, who control the Senate.
According to PoliticMo, Slater said Republicans rejected the amendment because Democrats refused to understand the biggest concern about abortions.
“There has been no talk about the unborn child. Not one person has mentioned anything about the unborn child. Should the unborn child of rape victim have different a life or be less important than another unborn child? I don’t believe so,” Slater remarked. “I think they’re both equal and should be treated as such.”
While introducing the bill in January, Slater said that women deserved to wait at least 72-hours to have an abortion because it was the “same thing” as knee surgery that he was planning to have.
“Next Tuesday, I’m going to see my orthopedic surgeon because I’ve been having some extended knee problems, and we’re going to get an opinion on what I should do. It would be elective surgery,” he explained. “And so, he will give me some time to contemplate about my decision on whether not I should have surgery or not, and we will probably make the best informed decision that we can.”
“Having an abortion is an elective procedure, elective surgery,” he continued. “It’s the same thing. And I want the patients to have plenty of time to be able to have an understanding of what they are going to have done in the elective surgery.”
When a Democratic lawmaker asked Slater if there was anything stopping him from having knee surgery without waiting 72-hours, the Republican admitted that the only limitation was his doctor’s schedule.
And although the Missouri Senate has not voted on SB 519 yet, Democratic Minority Leader Jolie Justus said that she has been assured it will pass during this session.
“I’ve been told by the Republican majority in the Senate that the 72-hour waiting period is a bill that they will pass this year,” Justus told KBIA. “I have been told that this is something that even if they have to use extraordinary measures to stop our filibusters that they are going to get that bill this year.”
Watch the video below of David Slater introducing SB 519, recorded January 2014.