A bill to extend the waiting period for getting an abortion to 72 hours has been approved by the Senate Health and Welfare Committee. Sancha Smith, the State Director for Concerned Women for America, spoke in favor of the measure and sharing her experience getting an abortion at 16-years-old.

“Had I been given enough time, I may have opted to reach out to a family member or share my heart with someone, and maybe someone could have come alongside and helped me make a better decision,” Smith said.

Smith says women need more time to consider all of their options, before making this decision.

“Twenty-four hours is not enough time to make a thoughtful judgement, a thoughtful consideration, to ending a life,” Smith said.

Angela Adkins with the Louisiana Organization for Women opposes the bill. She shared stories of women who died or suffered complications from illegal abortions and attempts to self-abort, because of restrictions to abortions.

“Restricting abortion access, like this bill does by raising wait times, only makes abortion unsafe, and women more desperate,” Adkins said.

Amy Irvin of the New Orleans Abortion Fund also spoke in opposition. She says although the waiting period is currently 24 hours, women can take as much time as they need after the consultation before having the procedure.

“They can take 48, 72, four days, five days, a week. No one is rushing them back to the clinic,” Irvin said.

The House-approved measure passed on a five to two vote and heads to the Senate floor.