Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning
will not lift a finger to file an appeal to defend new state law
that helps women obtain more information about abortion risks. It is
because there is a small chance that the controversial law will win
in court, his spokeswoman, Shannon Kingery, said.
"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."
Planned Parenthood of the Heartland
filed a lawsuit last month in U.S. District Court in Nebraska over
the law approved in the spring by state lawmakers and supported by
pro life advocates. The group said the bill could be difficult to
follow and could oblige doctors to give women extraneous information.
President and CEO of Planned Parenthood
of the Heartland, Jill June, said court documents were filed within
minutes of Mr. Bruning's declaration to make the injunction
permanent. The agreement, still, must be signed off on by a federal
judge. When would that be, is not yet clear.
Ms. June said, "We have maintained
from day one . . . that this law was unconstitutional, and we are
coming close to end of this legal battle."
The bill is intended to help women get
the kind of information on abortion's risks and alternatives that it
fails to offer. It helps women understand the ?physical,
psychological, emotional, demographic or situational? risk factors
that goes within the territory of an abortion.
Bruning believes it's not worth the
time and expense of defending the law. He and pro-life groups agrees
it can be improved in the next legislative session to undertake the
points raised in the lawsuit.
U.S. District Judge Laurie Smith Camp
issued a ruling blocking the state from enforcing the law in July,.
In her decision, Judge Smith Camp
argued the evidence reveals to her the law may prove to be more
burdensome for women to get abortions and said she is worried that
abortion practitioners may be subjected to damaging lawsuits.
"The effect of LB 594 will be to
place substantial, likely insurmountable, obstacles in the path of
women seeking abortions in Nebraska," AP reported the judge
saying. "Plaintiffs have presented substantial evidence that the
disclosures mandated by LB 594, if applied literally, will require
medical providers to give untruthful, misleading and irrelevant
information to patients."
In his brief, which Bruning initially filed,
he argued that Planned Parenthood is not the right party to bring suit
because only physicians are accountable to liability under the Act.
The officials are not properly named defendants as they lack the
authority to implement LB 594, Bruning added.
LB 594, the "Women?s Health
Protection Act" is being challenged by the abortion business
complaining that the measure "imposes demands that are both
impossible to meet and oblige physicians to flood their patients with
false and misleading information."
Julie Schmit-Albin, Nebraska Right to
Life executive director told LifeNews.com she agrees 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."
According to Schmit-Albin, pro-life
advocates in the state need to know that Bruning's decision was not
made because he is backing down from his pro-life beliefs.
"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.
In fact, Schmit-Albin said, she
strongly believes the attorney general will mount a strong defense of
the other new pro-life Nebraska measure which informs women of the
suffering an unborn child will endure during the abortion procedure.
The measure's goal is to convince mothers to choose life for their
"If LB 1103, the Pain Capable
Unborn Child Protection Act, is legally challenged upon its enactment
on October 15th; we are confident that the Attorney General will
vigorously defend any attack on that law. LB 1103 has a solid
legislative history based upon medical documentation and testimony,"
The bill was signed into law by
Republican Gov. Dave Heineman, in April, after the unicameral
Nebraska legislature approved it 44-5.
?Women are suffering from avoidable
physical and psychological complications that may have been prevented
or minimized had they received adequate pre-abortion screening and
counseling,? Sen. Cap Dierks, who introduced LB 594, said at the
time of the bill signing. ?Women deserve better. LB 594 will ensure
that women receive the appropriate standard of care.?
Abortion advocates attacked the lack of
a mental health exclusion in the bill even though studies
consistently point abortions cause mental health problems for women
more so than women who carry their pregnancy to term.
It is abortion businesses like Planned
Parenthood that "have compromised the standard of care for
counseling and screening of patients in order to reduce costs and
maximize profits," the Nebraska Catholic Conference points out.
"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."
The bill does not dictate any
requirements on abortion practitioners that are adverse to the
standard of care for screening which applies to other medical
The health-screening bill was one of two controversial abortion
laws that state lawmakers approved and passed this spring and Gov.
Dave Heineman signed.
The other one, which is scheduled to go into effect on Oct. 15,
would ban abortions starting at 20 weeks based on attestations from
some physicians that fetuses feel pain at that stage of development.