Roundup: Reaction to the Blocked Nebraska Law and Its Potential Future

Robin Marty

Yesterday a judge blocked the implimentation of the "mental health screening" law in Nebraska.  Today, see reactions, and a look at its future prospects.

A federal judge blocked the mental health screenings for women seeking abortions in Nebraska, stating that the rule would “require medical providers to give untruthful, misleading and irrelevant information to patients.” 

Judge Laurie Smith Camp, who ruled on the case yesterday, made it very clear that she sees a multitude of potential issues in the law, according to the Omaha World Herald:

Camp let stand the legislative findings, which say the existing standard of care for screening and counseling women seeking abortions is not always adequate.

She also let stand a section requiring the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services to publish a list of agencies that could help women with mental health concerns after they were screened for an abortion.

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But Camp found that Planned Parenthood was “likely to succeed” in attacking the key portions of the law.

She said the law puts abortion providers in immediate jeopardy of “crippling civil litigation,” which could force them to stop practicing and cost women access to abortion.

The law, Camp wrote, provides women who come to regret their abortions with “a target to blame — a physician stripped of the usual statutory and common law defenses and made civilly liable for the most extensive damages, by way of an ‘informed consent’ mandate that is either impossible to satisfy, or so vague that the physician (and a jury) are left to speculate about its meaning.”

The law also provides such women and their lawyers with a “very substantial financial incentive” to sue, Camp said.

In addition, the judge said, while the legislative findings express concern for women’s health, that concern was undermined by the plain language of the bill and the absence of similar protections regarding other medical procedures.

Despite such concerns, anti-choice activists have made it clear that they feel the case should move forward.  Via OneNewsNow:

Dave Bydalek of Family First in Nebraska is not surprised. “I think the real key to this whole thing will be the hearing that takes place on a permanent injunction,” he comments. That should happen in two or three months, but I think that the judge will get a better understanding of what the law really does and why it’s constitutional when we get to put on evidence at that time.” agrees.

[T]he Nebraska Catholic Conference says it is abortion business like Planned Parenthood that “have compromised the standard of care for counseling and screening of patients in order to reduce costs and maximize profits.”

“In hundreds of cases each day, known risk factors for physical and psychological complications are not being detected because of negligent pre-abortion screening,” it says. “Women are suffering from avoidable physical and psychological complications that may have been prevented or minimized if the proper pre-abortion screening standards had been met.”

According to Lifenews, “Shannon Kingery, a spokeswoman for the Nebraska Attorney General’s office, told AP the state would respect the order and continue to defend the law in court.”  The World Herald instead says simply that “A spokeswoman for Bruning’s office, Shannon Kingery, said the state will respect Camp’s decision but is reviewing its options.” 

Either way, the state has until July 26th to decide if it wishes to further pursue the case, or simply abandon the plan. Judge Smith Camp would be the one to rule on the case should the state Attorney General decide to proceed.

Mini Roundup: Doctors are allegedly founding their own “Tea Party” movement, a “pro-choicer” explains why he respects Sharron Angle’s position on abortion (and that all pro-choicers really just want unfettered, rampant promiscuous sexual relationships), and a town in Iceland is so desperate to up its birth rate they are considering banning birth control or creating a “Love Week” to get more pregnant women.

July 14, 2010

US Taxpayers to Subsidize New UN Agency Promoting Abortion – North Shore News

Spain’s highest court decides not to suspend new abortion law while it hears … – The Canadian Press

Judge blocks new Neb. abortion screening law – The Associated Press

Health reform will help reduce the number of abortions – The Hill

Americans Split on Kagan Nomination, Oppose Her More Than Sotomayor –

N. Ireland Withdraws Controversial Abortion Guidelines – Lifesite

Thousands of doctors organize National Doctors Tea Party Movement –

Health Law Sparks Abortion Fight In Pennsylvania – NPR

Nebraska Judge Blocks Draconian Abortion Law – Firedoglake

Questions over abortion in new federal health plan – The Associated Press

New Nebraska abortion law blocked –

Anti-Abortion Groups Slam Administration Over Federal Funding for Pa. Health Plan – FOXNews

Missouri governor lets abortion law take effect – The Associated Press

Planned Parenthood’s statement on new abortion law –

Personhood Amendment 62 Campaign Launches in Colorado – Christian Web News

Why Sharron Angle’s rape/abortion position makes pro-choice me respect her more – Pajamas Media

Kenya: US Accused of Paying Groups to Boost ‘Yes’ Camp Support –

Judge blocks abortion screening law – Omaha World-Herald

Grants raise specter of state abortion funds – Washington Times

New health care law raises questions on abortions – USA Today

NJ Dems lobby to restore family planning money – Asbury Park Press

2 NJ lawmakers seek restoration of $7.5M grant for family planning, health clinics–

Young Palin, Johnston can make it work – Houston Chronicle

Contraception Conundrum – National Review Online

Birth Control Ban Imposed in South Iceland Town? – IcelandReview

Washington pharmacy board making Plan B rules – Seattle Times

100 health experts to lead major HIV conference – Pink Paper

Transforming AIDS Care In Africa – Forbes

Will Obama Keep up the Fight on Global AIDS? – Huffington Post

What Can Would-be Teen Moms Everywhere Learn From the Saga of Levi Johnston … – New York Magazine

July 15, 2010

Kanjorski focuses on not insuring elective abortions – Wilkes Barre Times-Leader

Nebraska: Judge Blocks Abortion Law – New York Times

States try new tactics to restrict abortion –

The fight for free birth control continues – Salon

Group protests use of graphic images at weekly anti-abortion demonstration – The Missoulian

What It’s Like to Have an Abortion in Texas: TV Shows Finally Grappling with … – AlterNet

Judge blocks Nebraska law requiring mental health screening for abortion – Washington Post

Life and Death in California – American Spectator

EMILY’s List vs. Sarah Palin – Boston Globe

Governor Jay Nixon Allows Abortion Law to take Effect – The State Column

Democrat Bart Stupak Accuses Pro-Life Groups of ‘Politicizing’ Abortion Issue … – North Shore News

Sex Miseducation: Prof Fired for Pushing Catholic ‘Natural Law’ – Religion Dispatches

Evangelical group releases documentary on the pill as an abortifacient – Catholic News Agency

Unsafe Abortion, A Major Cause Of Maternal Death In Ghana – Peace FM Online

Pa. carrier using texting program to promote maternal, child health –

Study Confirms Vaccine Could Prevent More Cases Of Cervical Cancers Than … – Medical News Today

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