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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

May-29-09

Anti-Choice Nebraska Bill Nears Final Vote

A final vote is expected today on a Nebraska bill that would require doctors to provide certain information to women who are seeking an abortion, including requiring the viewing of ultrasound images. In a preliminary vote earlier this month, the Nebraska Legislature voted 38-6 to advance the bill, reported the Associated Press. If the bill is approved by the legislature today, it will be sent to Governor Dave Heineman for his signature.

In addition to existing requirements, the bill (see PDF) would necessitate that women are informed 24 hours prior to the procedure that they cannot be forced to have an abortion, can withdraw their consent, and can request a list of facilities where they could obtain a free ultrasound.

At least one hour prior to the procedure, doctors would also be required to "Simultaneously display the ultrasound images so that the woman may choose to view the ultrasound images or not view the ultrasound images." The bill also states that "The woman shall be informed that the ultrasound images will be displayed so that she is able to view them, [but that] nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to require the woman to view the displayed ultrasound images."

An amendment (see PDF) introduced by state Senator Danielle Nantkes would have exempted women seeking abortions on the basis of rape or incest from the requirement, but this amendment failed when it received only 22 of the necessary 25 votes, reported the Associated Press.

Media Resources: Associated Press 5/21/09; Nebraska Legislature Bill LB675


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