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Biased Counseling & Mandatory Delay

A woman may not obtain an abortion until at least 24 hours after the attending or referring physician, or a physician's assistant or registered nurse, tells her: (1) the probable gestational age of the "unborn child"; (2) the medical risks associated with the procedure, including, when medically accurate, infection, hemorrhage, danger to subsequent pregnancies, and infertility; and (3) the medical risks associated with carrying the pregnancy to term. The person providing this information must have, at a minimum, training in sexual and reproductive health, abortion technology, contraceptive technology, short-term counseling skills, community resources and referral, and informed consent.

In addition, at least 24 hours prior to an abortion the woman must receive a state-mandated lecture that includes: (1) that medical assistance benefits may be available for prenatal care, childbirth, and neonatal care; (2) that the "father" is liable for child support, even if he has offered to pay for an abortion; (3) the name of the physician who will provide the abortion; and (4) that she has the right to review state-prepared materials that describe the "unborn child" and list agencies that offer alternatives to abortion.

Furthermore, the state mandates that a health-care provider evaluate a patient for any "physical, psychological, emotional, demographic, or situational" risk factors that have been found in any peer-reviewed journals to be statistically associated with abortion.  The provider must then inform the woman and the physician who will provide the abortion care of the results of the evaluation and inform the woman of any complications associated with any risk factors identified.  In order to proceed with the abortion, the physician must determine that continuing the pregnancy would pose a greater risk than providing abortion care.  Failure to identify all of the possible risk factors exposes the physician to civil suits and other penalties.

The state-prepared materials must: (1) describe with pictures or drawings the anatomical and physiological characteristics of the "unborn child" at two-week gestational increments, including the possibility of survival; (2) describe the medical risks associated with carrying a child to term and the methods, medical risks, and "possible detrimental psychological effects" of abortion; and (3) provide a comprehensive list, with a 24-hour toll-free hotline, of public and private agencies and services, including adoption agencies, available to assist the woman through her pregnancy, upon childbirth, and while the child is dependent.  If the woman chooses to view the materials, she may not obtain an abortion until at least 24 hours after she has been given the materials in person or 72 hours after the materials have been mailed to her.

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-326 (Enacted 1993; Last Amended 2000); Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-327 (Enacted 1993; Last Amended 2010); Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-327.01 (Enacted 1993; Last Amended 2010).

The state-prepared materials include enlarged drawings of fetuses.  Neb. Health & Human Servs. Sys., If You Are Pregnant . . . (Rev. July 1998).

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