Missouri is among states with the strictest abortion laws in the nation and it sits in a region where other states have equally strict laws. Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska have similar laws. However, nearby Iowa and Illinois are more liberal in their approach to abortion.
Missouri requires a woman to obtain informed consent at least 72 hours before an abortion. She must undergo state-sponsored counseling with information designed to discourage the procedure, according to the Guttmacher Institute
In the case of a minor, under age 17, a parent or legal guardian must give consent and accompany the minor on the day of the procedure, FindLaw noted
. There are no exceptions in cases of rape or incest.
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Missouri is one of three states, the others being South Dakota and Utah, with a 72-hour waiting period before an abortion. Utah allows exceptions for rape and incest, The Kansas City Star reported
. Republicans in the Missouri Senate overrode a veto by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon to pass the 72-hour law in 2014.
NARAL Pro-Choice America, which grades states
according to their permissive abortion laws, gives Missouri an F rating because of its strict regulations. But Missouri is in similar company with neighboring states. Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska also received F grades from the pro-choice organization.
However, Iowa to the north of Missouri and Illinois across the Mississippi River on the east have more lenient laws. Iowa received a C+ grade and Illinois has a B rating from NARAL.
Iowa has limited restrictions for its abortion laws, according to Guttmacher. The state requires notification of a parent before a minor is allowed to have an abortion. Public funding is only allowed in abortion for cases involving life endangerment, rape, or incest.
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Illinois also requires notification of a parent before abortion is provided for a minor. Public employees can have abortion covered in cases of life endangerment, but they can purchase an optional rider at additional costs for abortion in their health plans.
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