Nebraska has approved a bill making it so teenagers in the state can no longer get an abortion without first obtaining the consent of their parents or legal guardians, and the bill is now headed to the governor.
Sen. Lydia Brasch sponsored the bill, LB 690, which passed by a wide margin, 41 to 6, before heading to Nebraska’s Gov. Dave Heineman for his signature, which is expected.
Americans United for Life write the law and its president, Charmaine Yoest, told LifeNews passage of Nebraska’s Parental Consent Bill based on AUL’s model legislation is “the right thing to do for Nebraska’s young girls and their families.”
“Young girls need the love and guidance of those committed to their protection when facing tremendous pressure,” Yoest said. “AUL has been in Nebraska working on this from day one for one reason: This new law will make a difference in young lives. Girls’ parents will know what kind of support and medical care their daughters are receiving and may learn whether their child has become the victim of a sexual predator. And AUL estimates that this law will save at least 100 lives a year in Nebraska.”
Prior to the new measure, Nebraska law required parental notification LB 690 requires the written consent of a parent or guardian before their daughter may obtain an abortion. However, a judicial bypass procedure is included in the law for minors who need a judge to consider their needs, as required by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Suzanne Gage, of AUL Nebraska, also commented on passage, and said, “Through the enactment of our parental notification law, Nebraskans expressed a desire to protect minors and defend parental rights. With the enactment of this bill, parents can better exercise their right to protect and guide their young daughters when they face unexpected pregnancy.”
The bill is supposed to fix several loopholes being exploited by abortion providers under Nebraska’s current law, which requires parental notification, but not consent.
The measure would require notarized consent from a pregnant girl’s parent or legal guardian except in cases when the girl says, in a signed statement, she would become a victim of abuse by her parents if she notified them of the abortion. The bill also allows that pregnant girls would be deemed emancipated and able to receive public assistance if she were denied financial support from her parents if they refused to sign off on the abortion, according to the Journal Star newspaper.
State Sen. Lydia Brasch of Bancroft told lawmakers on the Nebraska Senate floor, according to the Omaha World-Herald, “Such emotionally charged and irreversible decisions should not solely be left to a minor. At times like that, a girl needs her mother.”
Family First Executive Director Dave Bydalek says LB 690 is greatly needed.
“Most teenage girls are not prepared for the possible aftermath – physical, emotional, and psychological – of abortion. They need their parents not simply to be informed, but actively involved in this decision,” he said. “Parents must give consent for other medical procedures, including ear piercing and the disbursement of aspirin in a school setting. Minors often need their parents to sign school report cards and approve school field trips.”
In committee, an amendment received approval to remove extraneous family members from giving consent — such as older siblings and stepparents, but the bill leaves grandparents as having the ability to consent to the abortion.
ACTION: Ask Gov. Dave Heineman to sign the bill by going to https://www.governor.nebraska.gov/contact/index.html