Roundup: Nebraska Screening Law Shut Down, Supporters Say “See You Next Year!”

Robin Marty

The state of Nebraska may have decided not to fight the injunction against the "Women’s Health Protection Act," but that doesn't mean the bill is going away.

Yesterday, Nebraska Attorney General John Bruning stated that the state will not continue to legally fight the injunction against a new law that would require women to go through invasive mental evaluations and hear potentially endless and misleading information regarding the effects of abortion before undergoing the procedure.

Upon further reflection, Bruning decided that the law would likely be found unconstitutional, according to the Washington Post:

Attorney General Jon Bruning (R) agreed to a permanent federal injunction against enforcement of the law, which faces a challenge from Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, said his spokeswoman, Shannon Kingery.

“It is evident from the judge’s ruling [to temporarily block the law from taking effect] that LB594 will ultimately be found unconstitutional,” she said. “Losing this case would require Nebraska taxpayers to foot the bill for Planned Parenthood’s legal fee. We will not squander the state’s resources on a case that has very little probability of winning.”

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Surprisingly, the supporters of the bill are in agreement that the injunction should not be fought, although that doesn’t mean they are giving up on the bill.  Via Lifenews:

Nebraska Right to Life executive director Julie Schmit-Albin told today she concurs with Bruning.

“LB 594’s lead lobbyist, the Nebraska Catholic Conference, agrees that legal concerns raised about the statute can addressed by going back through the legislative process,” she said. “If the Nebraska Catholic Conference and the bill’s sponsor, Senator Cap Dierks, are amenable to returning to the Legislature to address the constitutionality concerns; then Nebraska Right to Life defers to their lead on this issue.”

She said pro-life advocates in the state need to know that this decision was not made because Bruning is backing down from his pro-life principles.

“Any suggestion that Attorney General Bruning is shirking his responsibility to defend pro-life legislation is not shared by Nebraska Right to Life,’ she said.

The bill will allegedly be reintroduced in next year’s legislative session, according to the Omaha World Herald:

In the end, lawyers for the state and Planned Parenthood agreed: A law passed this spring requiring doctors to more extensively screen women preparing to have an abortion was unconstitutional.

Undaunted, however, State Sen. Cap Dierks of Ewing, the law’s sponsor and one of the Legislature’s leading anti-abortion senators, pledged to try again next year.

“If we can make the bill take care of the unconstitutionally vague language that they talk about, I’m glad to try that,” Dierks said.

Looks like we’ll see you again next year.

Mini Roundup: Bill O’Reilly and Jennifer Aniston are in a knock-down drag out over whether single women should get pregnant. Alternet asks if it’s 1990 all over again.

Aug 18

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