Nebraska Judge Blocks Abortion Screening Law

A federal judge has blocked a new Nebraska law requiring elaborate mental health screenings and physical examinations for women seeking abortions, supposedly to ensure that they weren’t coerced and fully aware of  their “risk factors.”

Judge Laurie Smith Camp granted Planned Parenthood’s request for a preliminary injunction against the law, which would have gone into effect Thursday. The law had already been signed by Gov. Dave Heineman in the spring and, if passed, would have made Nebraska the first state to require a mental-health screening  before the procedure. The injunction order will prevent the state from enforcing the law until the challenging lawsuit is decided.

Though state officials say the law is intended to make sure women understand the consequences of an abortion, Planned Parenthood argues that the law would be difficult to comply with and could allow doctors to give irrelevant or misleading information to patients.

Nebraskan abortion doctor LeRoy Carhart, a colleague and friend of the late Dr. George Tiller, agreed with the judge’s decision:

It was a strong ruling. There was no other goal in mind [by the Nebraska legislature] except to make abortions harder for women, and I don’t think the law will ever see the light of day.

The mental health screening measure is one of two controversial abortion laws signed by Gov. Heinem. The other would ban abortions after the 19th week of pregnancy, based on the supposition that fetuses at this stage of development can “feel pain,” and is scheduled to become effective in October.

Photo courtesy of Fibonacci Blue under Creative Commons 3.0.


  1. Tom Vitale says:

    I think that “abortion” is an issue created by the right wing who live by hatred and slander and emotional moral issues. They are using “abortion” and doing so because they know they can repeat that is is “baby killing” over and over again and eventually the whole world will feel revulsion for it. They associate “abortion” with “liberal”, “far left” and “radical liberal” because it allows them to further establish those constructs as “evil”.
    They use such tactics because they believe they have a right to do whatever they want to people they define to be the “enemy”. they believe they have God on their side and they believe they are doing God’s work. So, I ask: what kind of God is this which is willing to do people dirty?
    IF they sincerely think abortion is evil, it is hard to discern that from the tactics they use because they use evil tactics of slander, fear mongering, hate mongering…etc. Anyone who sincerely thinks it is wrong for women to have abortions gets his/her beliefs amplified and exaggerated into hysteria by these tactics of constant insistence on the immorality of the left and of abortion and of everything they don’t like or believe in.
    Meanwhile, the real issue is women’s right to self determination and control of her own being and body and life. This is something the right wing cannot tolerate and hates even more than it does abortion.
    And I have heard of people opposed to abortion either having abortions themselves, or sanctioning sweat shop owners in small countries who force their female employees to have abortions. Hypocrisy is “OK” to a right wing mind and heart because they have a mission from their god to route out all evil. And guess who defines what is evil: they do.
    This is how they think and what they do. And it is only part of the story.


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