State lawmakers to debate abortion restriction bills

The Nebraska Legislature will hear debate on two abortion bills this week, with one of the bills likely coming up later today. Senator Cap Dierks of Ewing says his bill would inform women of the physical and emotional effects of abortions.
It requires that the doctors do testing before performing the abortion to determine risks that are involved and give the woman notice at least 24 hours prior. Dierks says he doesn’t understand why there’s such a fuss over the legislation.
“It’s kind of a controversial thing but it really should be fairly simple,” he says. Dierks sees it as similar to the information people get before any other type of surgical procedure.
The other bill, from Speaker Mike Flood of Norfolk, would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy based on the pain the fetus could feel. Both bills would set national precedents and Dierks says they have a ways to go to get them passed in Nebraska.
“If it happens, we’re the first state in the nation that has done either one of them,” Dierks says. “You still have to be aware that you’re dealing with Roe versus Wade, so you have to stay within those parameters. This just puts a little tighter squeeze on the time and the risks involved.”
Flood’s bill advanced in the legislature last month but still faces several votes.
Thanks to Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton