Judge Blocks Neb. Abortion Screening Law

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A federal judge has granted Planned Parenthood's request to temporarily block a Nebraska abortion law.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Laurie Smith Camp granted the abortion provider's petition for a preliminary injunction against the law. The order prevents the state from enforcing the measure while the case is being decided.

LB 594 requires mental health screenings for women seeking abortions. Under the law, women would be screened for risk factors showing potential mental or physical problems after an abortion.

However, Planned Parenthood said the law could be difficult to comply with and would require doctors to give information irrelevant to an abortion.

Smith Camp agreed with the clinic saying, based on the evidence presented thus far, the law would make it more difficult for women to obtain an abortion in the state.

"The effect of LB 594 will be to place substantial, likely insurmountable, obstacles in the path of women seeking abortions in Nebraska," the judge said.

"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," Smith Camp said in her ruling.

Meanwhile, Democratic Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced Wednesday she won't challenge a similar law in her state.

"Gov. Nixon believes that that given the legislative deliberations ... the appropriate action is to allow the bill to go into effect," Nixon spokesman Scott Holste said. That measure is scheduled to go into effect August 28.

Currently, 19 states have laws requiring women seeking abortions to either receive an ultrasound or information on how they can get one, according to Americans United for Life.

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