Nebraska Legislature Passes Ban on ‘Dismemberment’ Abortions

A pro-life demonstrator outside the Supreme Court during the the 47th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., January 24, 2020. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

The Nebraska legislature on Thursday passed a ban on “dismemberment” abortions in the state, except in emergency situations.

The bill, LB814, passed 33-8 and allows for professional injunctions and civil action against any abortion provider who violates the ban, besides in the case of a medical emergency. 

The definition of dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortions in the bill does not apply to an abortion in which only suction is used to dismember a fetus or to the removal of a fetus that is already dead. The bill specifically bans the use of clamps, forceps or similar instruments in abortion procedures.

“Life has won today in Nebraska. By ending dismemberment abortion, our state has demonstrated and reaffirmed its deep respect for the human dignity of preborn children and their mothers,” said Marion Miner, Associate Director for Pro-Life and Family at the Nebraska Catholic Conference, the Catholic News Agency reported.

“Passing LB814 will again establish Nebraska as a national leader in the cause for life. We are committed to affirming the humanity of every single life and making every form of abortion unthinkable.”

The bill now awaits approval from governor Pete Ricketts, who has expressed support for the ban, to be signed into law. 

The legislation may be challenged in court by pro-abortion advocates who claim the ban is unconstitutional under Roe v. Wade. A federal judge blocked Indiana’s D&E ban from taking effect last year, ruling that the ban was likely to burden a woman’s right to access an abortion.

However, Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson recently said the bill is “likely constitutional” because it “does not appear that it will impose a substantial obstacle on abortion access in Nebraska.”

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