Nebraska To Limit Abortion Due To Fetal Pain
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska lawmakers on Tuesday passed a groundbreaking bill banning abortions at 20 weeks based on assertions that fetuses feel pain then. Gov. Dave Heineman planned to sign it into law in the afternoon.
If upheld by the courts, the bill could change the foundation of abortion laws nationwide. Current restrictions in Nebraska and elsewhere are based on a fetus’s ability to survive outside the womb, or viability.
Viability is determined on a case-by-case basis but is generally considered to occur at 22 to 24 weeks.
The Nebraska bill was partially meant to shut down one of the few late-term abortion providers in the country, Dr. LeRoy Carhart. He attracted attention after his friend and fellow late-term abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was shot to death by an abortion foe in Kansas last year.
Kansas lawmakers have passed a bill meant to keep Carhart from performing abortions in that state, but Gov. Mark Parkinson, who supports abortion rights, hasn’t acted on it yet.
A national abortion-rights group called the Nebraska bill “flatly unconstitutional.”
“It absolutely cannot survive a challenge without a change to three decades of court rulings,” said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for reproductive Rights. “Courts have been chipping away at abortion rights…this would be like taking a huge hacksaw to the rights.”
She indicated her group might challenge the law in court. Carhart has also suggested he might challenge the law.
May I suggest this would be an excellent item to add to your prayer list?
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