Neb. Legislature OKs Pre-Abortion Screening Bill

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Nebraska, one of the few states that provide late-term abortions, may soon be the first state to require women seeking abortions to undergo extensive mental and physical screening.

The state legislature passed the bill on Monday and Gov. Dave Heineman, R-Neb., has promised to sign the measure into law.

Legislators also passed a measure banning abortions after 20 weeks, noting a baby can feel pain at that stage of development.

Pro-life supporters say the law's requirements are in keeping with other medical procedures where patients are screened for potential problems.

"We're dealing with destruction of early, unborn life, so we ought to take extra care," Greg Schleppenbach with the National Catholic Conference said.

Still, pro-choice groups will likely challenge both laws in court.

"It's too vague," said Sen. Brad Ashford of Omaha, one of just nine senators who voted against the measure on Monday.

"I don't know if a physician faced with civil action can know all the risk factors," cited in journals, he added.

Heineman is expected to sign the measure on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. CT.

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