(CN) – Nebraska is banning abortion by subjecting health-care workers to “impossible, unintelligible, and unprecedented” standards and exposing them to prosecution for “the wrongful death of a fetus,” Planned Parenthood claims in Federal Court. The new law, which takes effect July 15, will force doctors to follow procedures that “vastly stray from accepted – and, indeed, good – medical practice,” according to the complaint.
The Nebraska Legislature approved the “Women’s Health Protection Act” (L.B. 594) in April, It threatens doctors, nurses and abortion clinics with “significant civil penalties, including damages for wrongful death and professional negligence” if they fail to tell patients about all of the potential risks and complications of abortion – including those that have been debunked by science, according to the group’s complaint in Lincoln Federal Court.
Planned Parenthood says that the bill defines risks and complications too broadly, and will require them to give patients confusing, contradictory and false medical information.
The bill defines a risk of abortion as “any physical, psychological, emotional, demographic, or situational factor, for which there is a statistical association with one or more complications associated with abortion such that there is less than a 5 percent probability that such statistical association is due to chance.”
Planned Parenthood claims this “dramatically expands” informed consent standards by requiring abortion providers to “engage in the unprecedented and impossible task of identifying, retrieving, and reviewing thousands of articles – dating back more than a century, in dozens of different languages, and appearing in any of thousands of worldwide journals – for information related to so-called ‘risk factors’ and ‘complications’ associated with abortion as those terms are broadly defined in the Act.”
The law will require physicians to give patients “information on supposed risk factors, complications, and risk rates that have been rejected by mainstream medicine, or were found only in methodologically flawed and unreliable studies,” according to the complaint.
Civil penalties can be imposed “even without a showing by the plaintiff that she suffered the complication about which the physician allegedly failed to warn her,” Planned Parenthood says.
Planned Parenthood says the law is unconstitutional. It wants it enjoined.Planned Parenthood of the Heartland is represented by Andrea Snowden with Baylor Evnen in Lincoln.