Nebraska Legislature Initially Approves Parental Notification Bill

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 14, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Nebraska Legislature Initially Approves Parental Notification Bill

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 14, 2004

Omaha, NE ( — Nebraska lawmakers on Tuesday gave initial approved to a parental notification bill that prohibits Nebraska public schools from making information available to students about how to obtain an abortion without parental involvement

The bill, LB1782, would repeal a state law requiring school nurses to tell teenagers in grades seven through twelve how to use the judicial bypass in the state’s parental notification law to obtain an abortion without their parents’ knowledge.

The Nebraska Association of School Boards and the Nebraska State Board of Education joined pro-life advocates in opposing the law.

Pro-life groups have long been concerned that school nurses provide teens with information about abortion when the young women confide in the nurse about an unplanned pregnancy.

Congressional lawmakers are considering legislation, the Child Custody Protection Act, that protects teenage girls and their parents’ interests by prohibiting the taking of teens to another state to circumvent parental notification laws. Some school nurses have provided transportation to teenage girls to violate the laws.

Lawmakers gave the bill a 38-4 vote, and only 25 were needed for approval. Two more votes are needed before it can be sent to the governor.

Lincoln Sen. Mike Foley, the bill sponsor, was able to secure enough votes to stop pro-abortion Sen. Ernie Chambers from filibustering the bill. Chambers spent the entire first day of the session’s floor debate preventing the legislature from voting on the bill.

"For those who seek it, there is a wealth of information (about judicial bypass) on the Internet and in the phone book," Foley said. "The mandate is a nuisance to schools. They’ve been trying to get rid of it for 12 years."

An amendment by Sen. DiAnna Schimek of Lincoln to gut the bill and replace it with the current pro-abortion law failed.

Nebraska was the only state in the nation with such a law making the secret abortion information available. Michigan had a similar law but repealed it after two years.