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Lawmaker Pushing 72-Hour Abortion Wait

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A Mississippi lawmaker wants to require women wait three days after counseling before receiving ad abortion. That is just one of thousands of bills filed before the legislative deadline. Three other states have a 72-hour waiting period.

Currently, Mississippi requires a woman to receive in-office counseling and wait 24 hours before the doctor can perform an abortion.

Senator Phillip Gandy of Waynesboro has filed a bill to extend that wait to 72 hours.

"We give a 72-hour right of rescission before buying a house. I think a life and death issue and something that has the potential to affect the emotional well-being of the mother is something that needs some thought and some time," Gandy said.
Gandy says he does not think the wait will be a burden for women who might have to travel from far away to seek an abortion at the state's only dedicated abortion clinic in Jackson.

Senator Debbie Dawkins of Pass Christian, a frequent opponent of additional abortion restrictions, says the extension is unnecessary.

"We are not qualified to make those medical decisions. And we are not qualified to come between a woman and her physician and whatever is best for her," Dawkins said.

Currently three other states, Utah, South Dakota and Missouri, have 72 hour waiting periods.