Senators present abortion bills - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Senators present abortion bills

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By: Hannah Paczkowski

Abortion was the hot ticket item on the legislative hearing agenda, Thursday.

Sen. Conrad introduced two bills. The first helps pregnant minors who live in homes of abuse or extenuating circumstances have options when it comes to getting consent to have an abortion.

Right now, a judge has to sign off on whether or not he or she believes the girl is mature enough to make that decision without parental permission.

"Regardless of how we may personally feel about abortion, we can all agree and should agree and the Supreme Court dictates that a judicial bypass system must be available and must be fair," Conrad said.

The second bill repealed a current piece of legislation that says minors must have parental consent, and changes it to parental notification.

There wasn't any discussion between either of Conrad's bills. The next one was introduced by Sen. Kintner regarding signage in abortion clinics.

"Are you embarrassed to bring something like this?" Sen. Ernie Chambers asked Kintner.

"No, this is life we're dealing with! This is not a 'No Smoking' sign," Kintner said.

It's actually a sign that tells women they don't have to have an abortion if they don't want to. The bill's purpose is to keep women from being coerced into doing something they don't want to do.

"My mom had a local doctor arrange the abortion in Kansas, did I walk into that facility? Yes, I did, but emotionally I was frightened," supporter Jeannie Pittam said.

If this bill becomes law, all abortion facilities, except hospitals and private health clinics, must post a sign with 72-point font saying it is illegal for an abortion to be performed without the woman's voluntary consent.

If the sign is not posted, that clinic will have to pay $10 thousand per day.

Opponents of the bill said this signage is unnecessary.

"Information about coercion is already provided for all patients considering abortion in Nebraska," Shauna Benjamin said.


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