Nebraska Legislature Tentatively OKs Webcam Abortion Ban

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 10, 2011   |   6:40PM   |   Lincoln, NE

The Nebraska legislature today gave initial approval to a bill that would an the use of webcam, or telemed abortions and now the pro-life legislation heads to its second reading with the expectation of going further.

“On a 34 to 9 vote the Nebraska Legislature today moved LB 521, the Stop Web Cam Abortions bill, to second stage of floor debate,” Nebraska Right to Life executive director Julie Schmit-Albin told today. Her group commended “the action of the Legislature in recognizing that abortion, by court precedent, can be treated differently than other medical procedures.”

The webcam, or telemed abortion, process has women going to Planned Parenthood for an RU 486 drug-induced abortion getting the drug from a nurse or other employee. The patient is denied an in-person consultation with a licensed physician the FDA suggests and she instead visits with the abortion practitioner via a webcam hookup.

The Planned Parenthood abortion business is beginning to use this process in Iowa and is thought to be considering expanding it to more rural and remote areas of other states because of the expense and difficulty in recruiting abortion practitioners and getting them to all of the Planned Parenthood centers in a certain state.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland’s recent announcement that they intend to expand with sites to mid-sized cities is concerning to Nebraska Right to Life and the abortion business is looking at heading to Fremont, Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney, Norfolk and North Platte where the telemed abortion process may be used.

The legislative proposal would prohibit Nebraska physicians from prescribing and dispensing the abortion drug via the Internet, which Planned Parenthood of the Heartland has done in Iowa in more than 2,000 cases since mid-2008.

“We were pleased that the first round floor debate reflected an Attorney Generals’ informal opinion that abortion is different than other medical procedures and as such, the State has an interest in providing that the standard of care for abortion be consistent,” Schmit-Albin added. “With our current statutes stating that only a licensed physician can perform an abortion, it makes sense for our statutes to also reflect that with the advent of chemical abortions, that licensed physician must also be physically present when inducing the abortion.”

Nebraska Right to Life thanks these 34 senators for their vote to move LB 521 to second stage of debate and ultimate passage into law:  Adams, Bloomfield, Brasch, Carlson, Christensen, Coash, Cornett, Dubas, Fischer, Flood, Fulton, Gloor, Hadley, Hansen, Harms, Karpisek, Krist, Langemeier, Larson, Lathrop, Lautenbaugh, McCoy, Mello, Nelson, Nordquist, Pahls, Pankonin, Price, Schilz, Schumacher, Smith, Sullivan, Uttter and Wallman.

“We also want to thank Senators Tony Fulton for introducing LB 521 and guiding the floor debate and Senator Dave Bloomfield for prioritizing the bill to ensure that it was eligible for floor passage this session,” the NRL leader said.

Schmit-Albin says women who get the abortion drug without an in-person exam and visit with a physician are left to deal with any consequences alone and she pointed to stories of “young girls being sent home to hemorrhage and deliver their babies at home not knowing what to expect.”

“This isn’t about women’s access to “healthcare” but more about Planned Parenthood reaching its tentacles across the vast expanse of our state into rural areas where they have not been and inflicting a dangerous drug cocktail on women and young girls who might end up in their local emergency rooms hours away from the abortionist who started the abortion,” she said.

She said women visiting Planned Parenthood for the telemed abortions “are told by Planned Parenthood to act like they are having a miscarriage if they go into an ER after having problems at home. So the local ER doctor doesn’t even know that her problem is due to a chemical abortion.”

“How is this about improving women’s health?” Schmit-Albin asked. “It’s all about the bottom line for Planned Parenthood: money.”

ACTION: Ask your state legislators to support the bill by going to