Nebraska “Mental Health” Screening Law Put on Hold

Robin Marty

A federal judge rules that the new pre-abortion screening process in Nebraska will not be implemented July 15th as the state previously planned.

A new law that requires all women to be prescreened for possible mental issues prior to obtaining an abortion has been blocked by U.S. District Court Judge Laurie Smith Camp.  The law, which was scheduled to go into effect on July 15th, was challenged by Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, who argued that the law was so vague that it would be impossible to correctly adhere to it.

Under the law, doctors would have to screen for risk factors for post-abortion complications based on an almost limitless rang of information published in medical studies, even studies with contested and ambiguous conclusions. The law also doesn’t provide doctors any guidance about how to evaluate which of the findings to include when they screen patients.

“Many of them are decades old; some of them — a century old. Many, of course, are out of date. Many have been debunked. Many are irrelevant to the patient’s care,” said Planned Parenthood’s CEO Jill June.

Judge Smith Camp agreed with the organization, according to the Lincoln Journal Star:

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Smith Camp said Planned Parenthood’s arguments that the law was vague and could be cumbersome were persuasive, and the potential harm the law could do made a preliminary injunction appropriate.

“Plaintiffs have presented substantial evidence that the disclosures mandated by LB 594, if applied literally, will require medical providers to give untruthful, misleading and irrelevant information to patients,” Smith Camp said in her ruling.

The law is now blocked until the official lawsuit over the screenings has been settled.

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