Nebraska Limits Abortions to First 20 Weeks

Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman will sign a bill into law today that bans abortions if the woman is 20 weeks pregnant. The reasoning: the fetus might feel pain. The text of the bill, LB1103, is here. Some snippets:

(4) There is substantial evidence that abortion methods used at and after twenty weeks would cause substantial pain to an unborn child;

(5) Expert testimony confirms that an unborn child is capable of experiencing substantial pain even if the pregnant woman herself has received local analgesic or general anesthesia; and

(6) There is a valid state interest in reducing or preventing events in which pain is inflicted on sentient and nonsentient creatures. Examples of laws that serve this interest are laws governing the use of laboratory animals, laws requiring pain-free methods of slaughtering livestock, and laws regarding hunting methods on federal lands.


No person shall perform or induce or attempt to perform or induce an abortion upon a woman when the probable gestational age of the woman’s unborn child is twenty or more weeks unless, in reasonable medical judgment, she has a condition which so complicates her medical condition as to necessitate the abortion of her pregnancy to avert her death or to avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.

Of course the bill will be challenged in court. Jurist says:

The possibility of the Supreme Court hearing a case challenging these laws could have an impact on the confirmation hearings of President Obama's nominee to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens

< Tuesday Morning Open Thread | Misunderstanding "Pols are Pols. . ." >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    The state that will defend the (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 11:57:24 AM EST
    20 week fetus but will allow the full term and delivered child to die in the name of the capitalism that destroyed the parents lives and abilities to survive and care for their young....yawn....different day and same old despicable thug crowd.

    I believe this is also the state (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by cawaltz on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 12:19:26 PM EST
    that had to clarify it's abandonment laws after it had kids well over the cute and cuddly easily adoptable period (something like 3 days)being dropped off at hospitals. So much hypocrisy, so little time. Their concern for "children and their pain"is underwhelming to me too.

    You are Thinking of Iowa (none / 0) (#22)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 03:00:08 PM EST
    Not sure what Iowa's problems of late have (none / 0) (#51)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 10:20:57 PM EST
    been, but Nebraska to my knowledge was in the news about two years ago...perhaps less...having to rewrite its child abandonment laws because they ended up with so many abandoned kids it wasn't funny.

    Aren't most abortions (none / 0) (#37)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 05:27:16 PM EST
    performed within the first 3 months (12-13 weeks) unless a severe problem is detected in mother/baby/both that would require a later term decision to abort?

    Nebraska might deserve the benefit of the doubt in this case. Twenty weeks is 4.5 months.


    5 months. (none / 0) (#38)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 05:30:01 PM EST
    5 months what? (none / 0) (#39)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 05:36:12 PM EST
    If that's how long you think women wait to decide whether or not they want to abort an unwanted pregnancy, you must have a link to support it.

    You have a comment in this thread that makes me think you aren't here to discuss the Nebraska topic, but instead to throw your judgment against abortion into it.


    20 weeks is 5 months, not 4.5. (none / 0) (#40)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 05:38:59 PM EST
    Look at a calendar (none / 0) (#42)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 05:50:47 PM EST
    count 20 weeks and see if it ever comes out to exactly 5 months.

    I see your point, fair enough. (none / 0) (#43)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 05:52:20 PM EST
    Heh, a full term pregnancy (none / 0) (#50)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 10:17:20 PM EST
    is 40 weeks or 9 months.  I've been pregnant and given birth enough to know your ciphering is correct.

    And btw, if you read carefully, (none / 0) (#41)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 05:43:35 PM EST
    you'll see my comments are in response to other's comments.

    iow, my comments discuss the topic of the comments that I responded to, they are not topics I brought into the convo.


    Read carefully (none / 0) (#44)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 05:54:16 PM EST
    Surely you can understand that (none / 0) (#27)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 03:28:55 PM EST

    if a fetus is life then abortion is murder?

    [ Parent | Reply to This | 1 2 3 4 5  ]

    Yes, on the broad topic of responding (none / 0) (#46)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 06:02:20 PM EST
    to one platitude like this one:
    I just don't understand why it can't come down to this: if a person doesn't believe in abortion, she shouldn't have one.
    with another.

    And see, they both were about "understanding," don't you find that so very clever?


    Actually, this comment was a little glib. (none / 0) (#47)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 06:09:30 PM EST
    The topic of the sentence I responded to was not about Nebraska but, rather, about abortion itself. My response was in kind.

    I think I'm done justifying myself to you.


    their only reason is to confer more rights to (none / 0) (#82)
    by nycvoter on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 04:52:12 PM EST
    fetuses and less to women, that's it, no benefit of the doubt

    like "my rights start where your rights end." and now I think I understand what that means.

    regarding this: (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by CST on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 12:09:40 PM EST
    "could have an impact on the confirmation hearings of President Obama's nominee"

    let's hope so.  I would like to the know nominee's view on the issue myself.  Maybe this will bring up some pertinent questions.

    Hmm (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by Dadler on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 12:10:20 PM EST
    How many unwanted children has the governor adopted?  And I ain't talking cute little babies.  I'm talking older children, the ones who nobody wants and end up kicked to the street at 18.  

    Forgive me, this is an immediate topic in our home right now, as we're in the process of welcoming one of those forgotten children into our family.  I urge others, if they have the means and the love, to do the same.


    Actually, that would be the question I would (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 01:20:10 PM EST
    ask of all the anti-choice protesters. I would say they aren't real big on taking in other people's children.

    Nebraska... (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 12:44:27 PM EST
    ain't limiting sh*t, all they're doing is turning women who make their decision after 20 weeks into criminals, and forcing them to endure unnecessary hardship while seeing their decision through.

    I mean they can't really think a woman is gonna go "oh well, its week 21, I guess I'll have the baby."

    Actually it is the more (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by hairspray on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 12:56:20 AM EST
    complex situations that go beyond 20 weeks.  It is the teenager trying to "hide" the pregnancy, or the woman who develops a serious physical or mental problem,orthings of that sort who may need the ab around 20 weeks or later.  A young woman using BC or not, finding herself pregnant will get the ab early enough to avoid the 16 week marker.

    Amen! (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 09:42:20 AM EST
    And real life situations that only very old women can catalog or someone who works in the field of delivering reproductive healthcare to women.  I have a new doctor here who is helping me deal with my asthma, and doing a good job by the way.  During my first visit we started talking about Josh and what such things can do to mothers.  He spoke of a woman who had had the most unfortunate circumstance of her almost full term pregnancy die inside her.  The Ob/Gyn was choosing to wait to see if her body would begin labor on its own to sadly expel it and make his life easier.  Going into week two though my new doctor lost it, told the Ob/Gyn that while he was making certain his life was as simple as possible he was mentally destroying the woman and she was packing around dead flesh inside her at this point too and that can easily mean a terrible infection soon.  I also had a friend barely survive such a horror as well with the physicians doing the same thing to her.  Such things don't matter though it would seem....our mental and physical health is of little or no concern.....the doctors are stressed and the government owns our wombs and we will do as we are told or else.

    I wonder who gets to foot the bill (none / 0) (#8)
    by cawaltz on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 12:51:33 PM EST
    for the ultrasound? Will it be the lucky woman they'll be forcing into an eighteen year commitment?

    If you ask the crew.... (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 01:04:37 PM EST
    behind this crap, why the government of course, with the tax dollars of hard-working church-going folk...they took over healthcare via a stealth commie coup led by the manchurian Kenyan.

    The government? (none / 0) (#14)
    by cawaltz on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 01:44:38 PM EST
    Isn't this the same crew who insists the government doesn't have the ability to do anything other than war right so shouldn't be left in charge of things like health care? Isn't this the same crew who are always whining about the government "wasting" their tax dollarsA?

    I get it though. The government should only  be in the fetal health care business. All the rest of us should just bugger off because providing care for someone out of utero is "communism".

    Hypocrisy this awful ought to be painful.


    Al Franken Got It Right (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by squeaky on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 12:55:06 PM EST
    What was it that Al Franken used to say about Republicans? They believe life begins at conception and ends at birth.


    This is really about making sure there (5.00 / 7) (#13)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 01:34:39 PM EST
    are no physicians willing to perform abortions; the reporting requirements, the fines for failure to file those reports, and the other consequences are going to make sure of that.

    This little nugget:

    Any woman upon whom an abortion has been performed in violation of the Abortion Pain Prevention Act, the father of the unborn child who was the subject of such an abortion,-or the grandparent of such an unborn child may maintain an action against the person who performed the abortion in knowing or reckless violation of the act for actual damages. Any woman upon whom an abortion has been attempted in violation of the act may maintain an action against the person who attempted to perform the abortion in knowing or reckless violation of the act for actual damages.

    gets fathers and grandparents - and even the mother herself - into the act, allowing them to bring a cause of action against the provider for performing a 20+ week abortion.  Now, what provider is going to risk legal action from the fetus' "family" for performing an abortion at 20 weeks or later?

    The bill makes clear that no woman who has a 20+ week abortion is subject to any fines, penalties or charges: it's all directed at the providers.  It's a second-trimester abortion, not predicated on viability, but on pain and suffering.  Does this have any effect on the constitutionality of the legislation?

    Really, people should read the whole thing - if they can stomach it - and contemplate the effect of the legislation; it's draconian.

    Worse (none / 0) (#16)
    by squeaky on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 02:13:17 PM EST
    All women seeking abortion at any stage will have to undergo mental stability tests and be deemed mentally fit. This is also a huge liability trap for physicians, because there is not way that the doctors can keep up with the latest adjustments to mental health field.

    Planned parenthood has said that they will be able to manage but private doctors will not have the resources to keep up with all the hoops..


    Kind of a Catch-22, isn't it? (5.00 / 6) (#24)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 03:06:54 PM EST
    A woman could claim to be mentally at risk if she is forced to carry the pregnancy to term, but the fact that she would claim to be mentally fragile could result in a determination that she isn't mentally qualified to decide to terminate.

    It seems like it would be a much better use of time, energy and resources if efforts could be directed at providing more and better education, greater access to birth control and more and better resources to support the babies that are born and the mothers who care for them.

    I'm a firm believer in people taking responsibility for their actions, and if at all possible, not putting themselves in a position to be pregnant if they don't want to be.  But I also know that we aren't always in control, lives can take sudden and downward turns, birth control can fail, medical conditions can intervene.  We have to have the freedom to have dominion over our bodies and our lives, and I am just weary of the mindset that suggests otherwise - that wants to treat us like chattel, or as little more than incubators whose own lives are irrelevant.

    I just don't understand why it can't come down to this: if a person doesn't believe in abortion, she shouldn't have one.


    Potential Votes (none / 0) (#26)
    by squeaky on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 03:24:34 PM EST
    I just don't understand why it can't come down to this: if a person doesn't believe in abortion, she shouldn't have one.

    and more important, potential tithers to add to the flock and its coffers. Religion at worst a money=power=control racket...  at best, hmmmm hard to say.

     Ironically the religious white, is acutely aware that they are soon going to be a minority, because from their point of view the brown people are reproducing like cockaroaches. Short circuit time? Nah...

    Their solution would be sterilization as they are "unfit" that is if jail, deportation or death, did not work first.

    Same fear in Israel, the arabs are reproducing faster than the jews, so if they do not build settlements in illegal land, commit the occasional genocide, and deport arabs, they will no longer be a jewish state. Big problem, and the basis for all the fighting, imo.


    Americian Family Association (none / 0) (#28)
    by squeaky on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 03:30:56 PM EST
    Case in point:

    The American Family Association's Director of Issues Analysis, the detestable Bryan Fischer, has penned another one of his intolerable policy recommendations.  Fischer suggests that the US deport all Muslims.  If we fail in our efforts, he writes, "it may soon be too late to save what is left of American culture."

    You'd think that conservative Muslims (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by observed on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 04:13:24 PM EST
    might want to move to Nebraska now.
    I could see a political deal: women forced to wear veils in return for support from  a voting bloc in favor of abortion bans.

    They (none / 0) (#31)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 04:27:30 PM EST
    have the same values about Gays as well- where is the Sharia-Quiverfull alliance?

    Before 9/11, such an alliance already (none / 0) (#33)
    by observed on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 04:30:56 PM EST
    was in the works.

    No (none / 0) (#36)
    by squeaky on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 05:22:29 PM EST
    The AFA (none / 0) (#52)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 10:52:46 PM EST
    can stay as long as they accept Zeus and sacrifice a fatted calf in his honor.

    From abortion to Palestinians (none / 0) (#56)
    by klassicheart on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 12:22:59 AM EST
    You must be confused.  The United States is the country  that committed genocide-- against the American Indians.  And then put them on reservations. And of course, there is the genocide of the Armenians by the Turks.  As for land grabs, the U.S. was good at that too...should we give some back?  As for your being in favor of population  explosion which leads to environmental degradation and global warming...I find that quite alarming. Clearly, your  antisemitism shows.

    lol (none / 0) (#74)
    by squeaky on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 03:58:28 PM EST
    Clearly, your  antisemitism shows.
    yeah, I must be a self hating jew, just like these folks, or these folks or these folks.

    Problem is you equate Judaism with Israel. Israel is a country, Judaism is a religion.


    Surely you can understand that (none / 0) (#27)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 03:28:55 PM EST
    if a fetus is life then abortion is murder?

    I'm sorry if my statement about women (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Anne on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 10:55:53 AM EST
    not having abortions if they don't believe it's their right to was too simplistic, but that's what reproductive choice is: allowing each woman to have dominion over her own body and the right to decide when or whether she should have children.

    I have two children.  I've experienced two pregnancies.  I know what it feels like to know that you have, growing inside you, a being that, if all goes well, will come into the world and join a family.  What I haven't experienced is pregnancy as a result of a rape.  Or pregnancy where the fetus was grossly deformed or carrying genes that would make his or her life short and painful.  I haven't been pregnant and been abandoned by my husband or significant other and left with no means to support myself.  I haven't been pregnant and diagnosed with a disease where choosing to stay pregnant could end my own life.  I haven't been pregnant because my birth control failed.

    So, it's easy to make value and moral judgments about whether women should have the right to make these decisions when one imagines that pregnancy for all women is like a gauzy, slo-mo prance through a field of daisies in which a loving husband stands with open arms, a full wallet, in front of a beautiful home with a few apple-cheeked, blonde-haired and beaming toddlers, the family pet and the American flag.

    I don't know that I could have terminated either of my pregnancies.  I never had the amnio I was offered with my second child.  I knew too well that having a perfect set of genes was no guarantee of a trouble-free life, and the only reason I could see for having the tests was if we were prepared to end the pregnancy.  And I wasn't.

    But I can't, in good conscience, take that right away from some other woman, whose beliefs and circumstances may be a world apart from mine.  I can't in good conscience substitute my judgment for someone else's.  But that's what the State of Nebraska, in this case, is doing.  It is saying "we know better what is right and wrong for you, and we're going to make it as difficult as possible for you to have any other choice but to have the baby."

    When life begins, when a fetus feels pain - none of this has been defined in any reliable way; there are as many opinions and studies and reports as there are people.

    So, it all comes back to dominion, and to the point I originally made: if someone doesn't believe in the right to have an abortion, she shouldn't seek one.


    I can understand your opinion. (none / 0) (#61)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 12:11:36 PM EST
    Can you understand that others might have a differing opinion?

    Yes - that's the whole point. (none / 0) (#64)
    by Anne on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 01:08:11 PM EST
    I understand and respect that others believe abortion is murder.  What I don't understand and don't respect is the effort to impose that belief upon all women.

    My belief in the right to choose does not force any woman to do anything that is counter to her beliefs; efforts to pass laws that restrict or prohibit that choice has "force" written all over it.

    I'm not so sure, though, whether it's really so much about believing abortion is murder, as it is about controlling what women do.  If you don't think giving biological fathers the right to sue a doctor for performing an abortion isn't about control, you might want to think again.  If you don't think making women submit to mental health exams before having an abortion isn't about control - yeah, think again.  


    So Anne, (none / 0) (#66)
    by me only on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 01:20:04 PM EST
    what is the limit on abortion?  8 months?  39 weeks?  During labor?  Before the umbilical cord is cut?

    Roe v. Wade talks about viability, (none / 0) (#69)
    by Anne on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 02:34:41 PM EST
    which it pegged at the period subsequent to the end of the second trimester - approximately 24 weeks.  

    Keep in mind that in the years since Roe v. Wade, advances in neonatology have meant that there are babies being born every day at a stage which would have been considered a miscarriage not so long ago; I think that has changed many people's comfort level with abortion.

    But asking people to pinpoint the moment when it's no longer "okay" to abort is still to remove from the equation not just the woman who is pregnant, but the totality of the circumstances.  Is there an answer to "when is it okay to sacrifice the life of the mother in order to deliver a baby?"

    As I have stated many, many times when this issue comes up, there needs to be more time, energy and money spent on education, providing affordable access to birth control and support for the women and the children they bear.  And many who are opposed to abortion do put their money where their mouths are, and do not stop their support  once the baby is born.  But states that want to restrict women's rights to choose also tend to be states that don't want young women to be better educated about their own bodies, who don't want them to be able to get birth control, and don't have funds to help support those who do see their pregnancies through.

    Would I feel better about the restrictions if these other elements were part of the package?  Well, no, I wouldn't, but I also believe those other elements would help reduce the number of women who seek abortions.

    I've already stated that I did not believe I could have aborted either of my children, but what I would or would not do is wholly irrelevant to what any other woman would do.


    Anne, (none / 0) (#71)
    by me only on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 03:36:03 PM EST
    Is there an answer to "when is it okay to sacrifice the life of the mother in order to deliver a baby?"

    I would answer it is never okay to sacrifice the life of the mother in order to deliver a baby.  But that is very close to a strawman question.  The number of times that killing the baby instead of delivering it alive (after 20 weeks or 24 weeks) to save the life of the mother is a statistically small amount.  We cannot make laws for every exception.  That is called discretion and we leave that to actual people.

    Essentially this law is an attempt to move the date from 24 to 20 weeks.  It also sounds like it is also trying to put real teeth into that date.

    In the end we have to pick a date.  If you think you are not, well obviously we don't let people kill their children after they are born, so no date, is post birth.  However, the number of people who would support a 39 week abortion in this country is a really small number.  Similarly there are a few people who want to rid the country of contraceptives because they consider that to be abortion.  Again the numbers are so low, that idea is not worth your time discussing.  (Meaning they ideas are not going to become law.)  Since neither extreme is okay, we must pick a date.

    If you accept R v W and the 24 week standard, but at the same time accept that technology has moved in the intervening 38 years, then shouldn't we at least consider moving the date?


    Beliefs are the foundation (none / 0) (#67)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 01:49:10 PM EST
    of every rule or law ever made, and they are, by definition, imposed/forced on all of those who don't share that belief.

    Can you give me some examples? (none / 0) (#70)
    by Anne on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 02:44:53 PM EST
    I'd like to know what laws force you to do something not in accordance with your beliefs.

    See if you can find one that comes anywhere close to what forced childbirth would impose upon women.


    Ah, so now it's a matter of weight. (none / 0) (#72)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 03:39:33 PM EST
    What's imposed on you against your beliefs is more worser than what's imposed on me or that guy over there against our beliefs.

    I'd just like to know if there (none / 0) (#75)
    by Anne on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 03:58:41 PM EST
    is anything you think is comparable.  I mean, shouldn't we compare apples to apples?

    You're the one who made the statement that we are all forced to comply with things that are not part of our belief system - all I did was ask you for some examples.

    And for the record, I don't "believe" in abortion; I believe in the right of women to have dominion over their bodies and the right to make choices about their reproductive life and health.  Laws that interfere with that are in a much different category than laws that force you to drive the speed limit, or pay your taxes.


    I'm not going to repeat myself. (none / 0) (#77)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 04:13:04 PM EST
    Drug laws, (none / 0) (#73)
    by me only on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 03:44:06 PM EST
    if you don't like that, the draft.


    In the end, forcing a woman to make a decision by a certain date is not a death sentence.  You are not forced to raise the child.  Many people are forced to adopt out the country because there are not enough infants up for adoption.


    You're a man, aren't you? (none / 0) (#76)
    by Anne on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 04:06:27 PM EST
    I have a sister-in-law who got pregnant at 17, was sent to a home for unwed mothers, out of state and away from her family, had the baby and gave it up for adoption.

    She was never the same - had two failed marriages, before she married for the third time, and had a child she could keep.  But she spent years looking for the one she gave up - and finally found.  She never resolved things with her father before he died, barely resolved things with her mother before she died, and every family event we've ever had where all the siblings are present ends up right back at that terrible place.

    Would she have had the same problems if she had aborted?  We'll never know, but she wasn't given that choice.

    So, before you go glibly announcing that no one is forcing women to keep the children they bear, as if it is like giving away the extra cookies she baked, or the dress that no longer fits, you might want to get a better picture of what that can mean to a woman who doesn't have a choice.


    So? (none / 0) (#78)
    by me only on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 04:18:29 PM EST
    Her family made a choice.  Would she have chosen differently? (we'll never know)  She was 17.  At that age in many states the girl cannot choose.  She needs a judge or parental consent.

    Would 4 weeks have made a difference (and that is what we are talking about in regards to the Nebraska law)?

    Besides, this was a response to laws about beliefs.  My aunt lost three boyfriends/lovers to the draft.  Two body bags and an MIA.  You sister in law had the chance to figure those things out, those three guys just had to give their lives.


    read a little more (none / 0) (#79)
    by CST on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 04:32:18 PM EST
    about the law and through the thread and you wil realize it's about a lot more than "4 weeks".  It's about redefining at what stage you can have control over your body.  It's about intimidating doctors away from providing abortions at ANY month - read the bill, it's there.  It's about moving the goalposts from the point of viability to the point of pain - which is something so undefined and unscientific there is no reason it couldn't move earlier and earlier.

    It's about removing control of the situation from the woman and her doctor to include her entire extended family (seems to me like this bit is entirely about not trusting women - her PARENTS can sue the doctor even if she is over 18).

    This bill is much more restrictive than you are making it out to be.  And once you start being ok with moving the goal posts - at what point does it end?


    The old slippery (none / 0) (#80)
    by me only on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 04:39:43 PM EST
    slope argument.

    Odd how "progressives" sound like conservatives when the issues change...


    only (none / 0) (#81)
    by CST on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 04:51:29 PM EST
    if you completely ignore the rest of my post.

    And it IS completely about moving the goal posts to pain from viability.  Which is undefined.

    Frankly, I don't think any one here would argue against a "slippery slope" to socialized medicine either - since that's what we want (and I assume what you are referring to).  We may not think the current bill provides that slippery slope, but most of us would support it if it did.  And I certainly wouldn't expect conservatives to act differently on choice.


    I think most of this law (none / 0) (#84)
    by me only on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 05:28:35 PM EST
    is to chip away at Casey.  Does abortion law belong in the hands of the legislature or the Supreme Court?

    I wasn't referring to health care.  I was actually thinking more about SSM.  That is more akin to abortion in that one side wants the decision out of the legislatures hand (because they have a losing record) and in the hands of the courts.  If abortion reverts to the legislatures it will not end abortion in this country even if progressives try to make people believe that it will.

    I argue vehemently against socialized medicine, and I think I am "here."  (Although there are many who disagree with that notion and claim that I am actually in left field.  I don't think they are right because I doubt left field has a keyboard...)


    With some genetic testing not able (none / 0) (#85)
    by Anne on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 07:18:03 PM EST
    to be done until 15-18 weeks, 4 weeks certainly makes a difference.

    As for my sister-in-law, in 1964 there weren't a whole lot of choices for her, and this is what the result was.

    You just don't get it, so there's no point in discussing it further.


    Bacterium are life too (none / 0) (#55)
    by cawaltz on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 11:19:34 PM EST
    Are you going to insist we outlaw antibiotics next?

    At the end of the day in order to survive we kill "life" pretty routinely.

    I've not met a single person who has survived without it being at the expense of a plant or animal.

    Now, you can make the argument that a fetus is a POTENTIAL HUMAN LIFE. I certainly  wouldn't argue it wasn't. That being said,it's potential is derived off the vitamin, mineral and body stores of another already complete human being. She ought to get some say in whether or not she finds it acceptable to share her body's nutrients freely rather than forcibly.


    I made a simple "if, then" statement. (none / 0) (#60)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 12:09:00 PM EST
    iow, if A, then B.

    And, conversely, if not A, then not B.

    In your opinion, on this issue, it's not A, and therefor not B.

    I understand your position, it's perfectly logical.

    Can understand the opposing position?


    I understand it perfectly (none / 0) (#65)
    by cawaltz on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 01:11:37 PM EST
    I don't find it logical or compassionate though. (Compassion would mean putting money into resources for women to make the choice easier and take away aspects like long term financial ones)Pregnancy is not a one size fit all issue and laws like the above law treat it like it is at the expense of a living, breathing person. It seems to matter little to the "pro life" crowd they are forcibly requiring someone to share vital nutrients and place their lives at risk and they are doing so forcibly.

    For the record, I have had 5 pregnancies. Each of them unique and each of them voluntary. My body has borne the consequences of those pregnancies though. I have a right kidney that hasn't been the same since my last delivery over 10 years ago(hydronephrosis is the term utilized). My teeth which didn't even know cavities prior to my 18th year require 5 root canals(regurgitation tends to erode tooth enamel). There are numerous studies out there done by the medical community that enumerate the strain pregnancies do to the body of the person the fetus inhabits(there is a reason they recommend spacing, and it isn't only for the benefit of the fetus).

    My  biggest problem with the anti choice community is that the long term consequences seem to be secondary to the short term purpose of bringing potential life into the world. A child should be wanted and cherished as a gift, not some burden someone is forced to bear at the expense of their body's well being.

    It makes it even more difficult when a goodly portion of the community that are "pro life" seem to spurn the idea of birth control to begin with. They seem to be anxious to go back to the days where the leading cause of death for women was pregnancy/childbirth. It still is the leading cause of death in many of the places where reproductive health takes a back seat.

    My position is that the bulk of women are capable of making a life and death decision on their own. They don't need other people who won't be taking on the risks and responsibilities of the decision making it on their behalf,no matter how well meaning those people may think they are being(worrying about the souls of the entities involved).

    Sorry for the length, this is something I feel passionately about though.


    Thanks for your thoughtful response. (none / 0) (#68)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 02:19:52 PM EST
    I'm really slammed here at work so I can't spend much more time on this, but I do understand your position but I feel there are additional factors in play that support other positions more strongly.



    Also (none / 0) (#18)
    by CST on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 02:21:29 PM EST
    if a woman is deemed not "mentally fit" - does that mean she will be required to carry a child to term if she ever gets pregnant?

    No (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by squeaky on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 02:36:24 PM EST
    The bill requires a doctor or other health professional to screen women to determine whether they were pressured into having abortions. Doctors also must assess whether women have risk factors that could lead to mental or physical problems after an abortion.

    The bill is unusual, however, in spelling out what doctors must look for. They include any risk factors cited in peer-reviewed journals indexed by two major medical and scientific listing services during the year before a planned abortion. The risks could be "physical, psychological, emotional, demographic, or situational," according to the bill.

    "It's very difficult to know for certain if you're complying with this bill," said Kyle Carlson, an attorney for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland. "There's an undetermined amount of documentation you have to go through to know all the...risk factors."

    Also, the information could change daily as articles in peer-reviewed journals are released....

    Doctors would have to tell patients whether they had any of the risk factors cited in the journals, but they could perform abortions even if risk factors existed.

    If a screening was not done, a woman could file a civil suit. Doctors would not face criminal charges, nor would they lose their medical licenses.

    raw story


    Exactly (none / 0) (#30)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 04:25:52 PM EST
    If you're a Doc under this law- its honestly the best policy to quit performing after the first trimester- past that there could be abnormal development or the mother could be unaware of the exact time of conception (or lie) and boom you lose your practice.

    This is what you get when voters (5.00 / 4) (#45)
    by Radiowalla on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 05:55:06 PM EST
    don't make reproductive privacy a priority when they go to vote.

    I never vote for a politician who is anti-choice, no matter what the party.  

    Beyond the tiresome reflexive hate (1.00 / 1) (#5)
    by abdiel on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 12:10:54 PM EST
    any guesses as to whether this will survive a legal challenge?

    You know what I find hateful? (5.00 / 6) (#15)
    by cawaltz on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 01:49:39 PM EST
    I find forcing a woman to undergo an unwanted pregnancy hateful. Furthermore, I think doing so all the while whining about having to pay taxes for education, social services, and YES post natal health care for that "unwanted" child(the only way they wanted that was if the rest of us were willing to pay the cornhusker kickback fee)ought to be criminal.

    +1 (none / 0) (#10)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 01:03:14 PM EST
    I have seen this "comment" (none / 0) (#21)
    by me only on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 02:49:03 PM EST
    on a few blogs, what is it supposed to mean?

    It means Adds One (none / 0) (#23)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 03:03:56 PM EST
    In other words the commenter concurs with the post.

    What has become more than tiresome (none / 0) (#19)
    by MO Blue on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 02:27:06 PM EST
    is the meme that anyone who has a opinion different from yours on a particular issue only holds that opinion because they are filled with hate.

    Much easier just to accuse people of hatred rather than stating your own opinion or honestly debating the subject.


    You mean honest debate like this?: (none / 0) (#25)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 03:12:28 PM EST
    The state that will defend the 20 week fetus but will allow the full term and delivered child to die in the name of the capitalism that destroyed the parents lives and abilities to survive and care for their young....yawn....different day and same old despicable thug crowd.
    The poster asked for opinions as to whether the law will survive the legal challenges, which seems like an honest, reasonable question to me. Especially on a blog run by a lawyer that purports to be law-related...

    Don't have much of an opinion yet (none / 0) (#35)
    by abdiel on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 05:10:28 PM EST
    The Reuters article states that it's unclear how many people this would ever affect. Third trimester starts at 24 weeks. Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics generally do not perform operations after the 20th week anyways. So it's not like this is a huge restrictive ban or a big change.

    But I think it is obvious that this is a toe in the water legislation, that if it survives, you can expect an inexorable march as to where "pain" begins.


    I (none / 0) (#2)
    by lentinel on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 12:03:37 PM EST
    fault Obama and his crowd for caving into Stupak.

    He opened a pandora's box of reactionary cretinism.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#32)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 04:29:30 PM EST
    totally- I mean that's completely logical- after all states have been doing this crazy stuff for decades (see: Casey) but Obama letting Stupak save face by preserving the status quo is what prompted this.

    What (none / 0) (#34)
    by lentinel on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 05:03:21 PM EST
    I'm expressing is that this insurance-lobby bill is a setback for the reproductive rights of women. Everyone knows that. But you look at Obama and Pelosi and see that this matters not to them.

    Frankly (none / 0) (#53)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 10:53:57 PM EST
    I feel its am improvement over the status quo in a lot of ways- including a federalization of some of the gender-blind requirements that currently only exist in a handful of states.

    I propose a law which personally bills (none / 0) (#17)
    by observed on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 02:20:02 PM EST
    Heineman for the birth to 18 cost of rearing a child, for each abortion prevented by the law he signed today.

    4.5 months is enough (none / 0) (#48)
    by diogenes on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 07:03:44 PM EST
    The law allows any abortion if there is a risk of death or serious body impairment at any time.
    Four and one half months is PLENTY of time for women to choose whether or not to keep a pregnancy, and this law might motivate more women to get their abortions earlier rather than wait, which would be a good thing.

    You would think so, but what this (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 07:57:06 PM EST
    legislation really guarantees is there won't be providers willing to perform abortions no matter how early.

    Many tests for genetic abnormalities are not performed until well into the second trimester.  Amniocentesis is not done until between 15 and 18 weeks. AFP - alpha feta protein - is not done until between 15 and 20 weeks; this is a test than can indicate whether the fetus has a neural tube defect, like spina bifida.

    So, here are two tests that can't be done until mid-second trimester, with results that are not instantaneous.  The AFP may have to be redone if the results are borderline, so then you are even closer to 20 weeks.

    So, while it is easy to be glib and declare that 20 weeks is "plenty of time" for a woman to decide whether she will have an abortion, some women are just being confronted at that 20-week point with the news that they may have a fetus with genetic defects.  What this law says is, Nebraska doesn't give a crap if a woman is not emotionally, financially or otherwise prepared to bring a damaged or deformed baby into the world.  The state doesn't care if you've had time for counseling, time to think about it, time to do some research.  As far as the state is concerned, it's too late.

    There are all kinds of reasons why a woman might be in a position to consider abortion near 20 weeks, and I imagine very few of them start with, "oh, gee, I guess I just forgot to do this sooner!"


    That's what happen though (none / 0) (#54)
    by cawaltz on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 11:02:07 PM EST
    when the pro choice movement lets the meme that women are frivolous creatures that capriciously decide after puking and swelling for MONTHS to use abortion as a method of birth control. They used the same darn memes with partial birth. It's digusting and ought to be offensive to anyone who shares the xx chromosome to have themselves portrayed in such a way. The procedure is minor surgery. Yet some morons would have us to believe our sisters and mothers are just forgoing pills or shots that prevent pregnancy just so they can risk minor surgery.

    what if testing improves? (none / 0) (#86)
    by diogenes on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 10:07:35 PM EST
    So you concede that if all fetal testing could be done by ten weeks (as technology improves) then 20 week abortions can be outlawed?

    No, that's not what I'm saying, (none / 0) (#87)
    by Anne on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 10:31:48 PM EST
    and you know that; stop being glib.

    Women's bodies, women's choices.

    Testing does not equal viability, and neither encompass the range of situations that can arise.

    Talk to me when it is your body, okay?  When you are the one whose choices are being gradually limited away into nonexistence.

    Until then, work to support the women you love and care about, advocate for education, lobby for access to birth control.  Work to improve the lives already in being.

    I read this morning about a 23 yr old man who was arrested for beating, raping and sodomizing his girlfriend's 21-month old daughter.  You want to agonize over fetal pain there is no real evidence exists, but I agonize over the incalculable pain being inflicted upon the lives like this little girl's.  Children who fall through the cracks of a system that doesn't have the money to properly supervise and support, so that this will likely not be the last time this little one suffers.

    Be outraged over that pain, over that life, over the lives that are forgotten as soon as they come into the world.  And not just the lives of these little ones, but of their mothers.  

    Or spend your time thinking your judgment and your beliefs should trump that of the women faced with situations they don't want to be in, didn't ask to be in, aren't ready for.  That's so much easier to do, you know?


    For those wondering (none / 0) (#62)
    by CST on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 12:58:36 PM EST
    the legal implications and whether this will hold up in court.  Newsweek breaks it down.

    Of note in the artice - Roe v. Wade specifically refers to the issue of viablility - as in, the point at which a fetus can survive on it's own as the point at which life begins.

    Nebraska brings up a new standard of pain - one which is still scientifically fairly murky.  So they will be asking the Supreme court to overturn precedent, making it less likely to stand.

    However, with all things abortion related these days it will probably come down to Justice Kennedy, who in the past has indicated a possible willingness to revisit that standard.

    Roe v Wade (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by Peter G on Thu Apr 15, 2010 at 12:28:02 AM EST
    did not say viability is "when life begins." The court said that when "life begins" is a religious, not a legal question.  What the RvW majority ruled is that the point of viability is when a given state is entitled to give anything (in this instance, the potential human life represented by the fetus) sufficient weight to counterbalance and negate the pregnant woman's constitutionally-protected liberty interest in making her own unconstrained choice.  The state interest in avoiding "pain" to the non-viable fetus, in my legal opinion, would be much less and could not outweigh the woman's legal interest (that is, her constitutional rights) as defined in Roe.  The Supreme Court does not lay down rules for the regulation of abortion, it evaluates the rules that a given state legislature tries to lay down, as stacked up against the Constitutional rights of individual Americans, in this case, individual women and their doctors.

    Very interesting. Thanks. (none / 0) (#63)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 01:05:25 PM EST