Nebraska Gov. Signs Webcam Abortion Ban, Parental Consent Bill

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 27, 2011   |   3:43PM   |   Lincoln, NE

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman signed into law two pro-life pieces of legislation yesterday and today when he put his signature on bills to ban webcam abortions and require parental consent before abortions.

The Governor signed the webcam abortion ban in the presence of the bill’s sponsor, Senator Tony Fulton, its prioritizer, Senator Dave Bloomfield and Julie Schmit-Albin and Sandy Danek of Nebraska Right to Life as well as Greg Schleppenbach of Nebraska Catholic Conference.

LB 521 was Nebraska Right to Life’s priority legislation for the 2011 session. It extends the standard of care for abortion to provide that every abortion, whether chemical or surgical, is done by a licensed physician physically present in the same room as the pregnant woman or girl.

In remarks, the Governor noted that Nebraska continues to lead the nation with innovative abortion laws, citing last session’s LB 1103, the unborn baby pain ban at 20 weeks. LB 1103 was Nebraska Right to Life’s priority legislation in 2010 and remains legally unchallenged.  National Right to Life drafted both LB 521 and LB 1103.

The governor also signed the parental consent bill the legislature approved the other day.

“Huge kudos to the Nebraska Legislature for stopping chemical Web Cam abortions before they start by passing LB 521,” Schmit-Albin said. “The Legislature recognized that the standard of care for abortion was lacking and passed LB 521 to ensure that every abortion, whether chemical or surgical, has a licensed doctor physically present.”

“Since the abortion industry comes up with new methods of killing unborn children, it’s up to States to address something that wasn’t even occurring when Roe v. Wade came into being in 1973,” she said. “Planned Parenthood of the Heartland initiated Web Cam chemical abortions in Iowa in 2008 and has done over 2,000 of them there since then. Our Legislature saw that situation and rightly concluded that Nebraska did not need to be the next testing ground for Planned Parenthood’s desire to expand chemical abortions beyond urban areas of the State.”

Nebraska joins Kansas, Oklahoma and Arizona in passing a ban on webcam or telemed abortions.

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.

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:  Contact Gov. Heineman at and thank him for signing the bills into law.