Just kidding! But given the continued attacks on abortion access, it wouldn’t be so surprising if they tried something that extreme.

Even though women carefully consider their options before they make an appointment to obtain abortion care, some politicians think they know better and have passed medically unnecessary, government-enforced “time outs” for women seeking abortion care. Twenty-six states force a woman to obtain state-mandated counseling and then wait a specified amount of time, usually 24 hours, before she can obtain abortion care. As if this wasn’t insulting enough, now some anti-choice politicians are trying to increase the waiting periods in their states to 72 hours.

Waiting Period

Oklahoma was recently the fourth state to institute a 72-hour waiting period. North Carolina’s 72-hour waiting period has passed and Governor McCrory has vowed to sign it and make North Carolina the fifth state. One of those states, South Dakota, does not include weekends or annual state holidays in that 72-hour waiting period, potentially forcing women who have already made their decision to wait an additional five or more days.

As a result of a waiting period, a woman may have to delay her care, particularly if she has to take time off from work, arrange for child care, travel a long way, and perhaps stay overnight in a different city.

Women understand the choice they are making, and they don’t need to be subjected to a burdensome, medically unnecessary, state-mandated waiting period before they can access the care they need. A woman, in consultation with her medical care provider and those she trusts, should decide when she is ready for any medical procedure—including abortion care—not politicians.

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