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Nebraska Judge Rejects Abortion Restrictions

A Nebraska judge has ruled against a new law requiring women to undergo a mental health examination prior to receiving an abortion. The law was signed by Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman in the spring, and was scheduled to go into effect today. Last month Planned Parenthood of the Heartland filed a lawsuit challenging the anti-choice law, claiming the law would be difficult to regulate and would result in an effective ban in abortions due to the “impossible” requirements it places on abortion providers. Judge Laurie Smith Camp agreed with Planned Parenthood’s claims, and granted their request for a preliminary injunction against the law, reports the Associated Press. According to the Associated Press, Camp ruled that the law would limit access to abortion by requiring mental health screenings that would be impossible to perform and regulate, given a literal interpretation of the law. Camp also disagreed with a provision in the law allowing abortion providers to be subject to civil suit if a screening were to fail to be comprehensive. The mental health screening law was one of two controversial bills limiting women’s reproductive rights that Governor Heineman signed in spring. The second law makes abortion after 20 weeks illegal due to disputed evidence that says fetuses after 20 weeks can feel pain. That law is scheduled to take effect in October, reports the New York Times.

Sources:

Associated Press 7/14/10; New York Times 4/13/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 7/13/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 4/13/10