GOP woman shames MO anti-abortion lawmakers for 'mental anguish' of rape victims

A Republican woman voter in Missouri pleaded with state lawmakers this week not to force through a bill that would force rape victims to wait an additional 48 hours before getting an abortion.

In an op-ed for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch titled "Scared Silent and Forced to Wait," Linda Rallo encouraged the Republican-controlled Legislature not to override Gov. Jay Nixon's (D) veto of HB 1307, which would extend the waiting period for abortions from 24 hours to 72 hours.

"Fear of reprisal is the No. 1 reason rape victims keep quiet after an assault," Rallo wrote. "However, if rape results in pregnancy, silence won’t keep a woman safe."

"Despite what believers of Todd Akin’s brand of science may think, rape can and does lead to pregnancy. The numbers differ but the data suggests that between 3,200 and 50,000 pregnancies result from rape each year," she noted. "Abortion, while never an easy choice, sometimes may be the only answer for a traumatized, fearful victim."

The mother of two daughters argued that "adding another 48 hours to this process only pushes abortion later into pregnancy and exacerbates the trauma caused by rape."

I understand that our Republican-led Legislature feels a duty to protect the unborn, but I hope they also understand that there are Republicans like myself who value conservative ideals like limited government and personal responsibility, but also empathize with young women and teenage girls who face rape-related retaliatory violence.

"I urge our elected officials to not add to their emotional anguish and please vote no on the override of HB 1307 at this year’s veto session," Rallo concluded.

The Missouri Legislature is set to try to override Nixon's veto of the abortion bill on Wednesday without making any exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

State Speaker of the House Tim Jones said this week that "waiting three days is not too much of a burden to ask when you're making such a life-changing decision as that."

"I look it as giving more rights to the unborn," he insisted.

Watch the video below from KOZL, broadcast Sept. 8, 2014.

[Photo: Stressed young woman sitting on couch via Shutterstock]