Roundup: Nebraska Considers Ending “Mental Health” Screening Legal Challenge


Considering the effort that anti-choice groups put into crafting various laws this year that could all take different tactics towards legally assaulting Roe v. Wade, you would think that there’s some serious disappointment in the anti-abortion community over the idea that Nebraska may not continue legally fighting for their new mental health screening rule.  However, the balance between ideology and fiscal responsibility may end up putting the law on the shelf permanently.

From News 5:

Is defending a new Nebraska abortion law worth an expected lengthy and costly legal battle? That is what Attorney General Jon Bruning is considering.

Bruning said he will not exhaust all legal options to support the Nebraska law.

He said he is considering whether it is worth the time and expense through what could be a lengthy appeals process.

Both sides of the abortion debate agree that further legal wrangling over the law as it is written now is an exercise in futility.  Via the Omaha World Herald:

It might be more prudent to go back to the Legislature, he said, than to appeal a federal judge’s ruling from last week.

“I haven’t made any decision on appeal,” Bruning said. “I’m just trying to decide how to allocate precious state resources.”

He has until the end of the day Monday to decide.

Greg Schleppenbach, a lobbyist for the Nebraska Catholic Conference, which pushed for LB 594, said he has not talked with Bruning.

But he took no issue with Bruning’s hesitation about continuing the court battle.

“Anybody would be a fool to just plow ahead and ignore the direction this case could go,”

Schleppenbach said. “I’d rather go down a path that gets this into law and passes judicial scrutiny.”

The goal is to ensure that women get proper screening and information before going through with an abortion, not to challenge existing abortion laws, Schleppenbach said.

Jill June, president and CEO of the Des Moines-based Planned Parenthood, said dropping the state’s case would be a responsible move.

“It would be a prudent thing to do to conserve his resources and not throw good money after bad,” she said.

One additional benefit that pro-choice advocates may see from this is the lack of copy-cat legislation in other states, according to the Yankton Press:

“Given what the judge has ruled and what the attorney general says, it will certainly chill the prospects of this being adopted by other states,” said Jill June, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland. She called Bruning’s consideration of whether or not to appeal a possible ruling striking the law, should such a ruling be made, the responsible thing to do.

Greg Schleppenbach of the Nebraska Catholic Conference, the main lobbyist for the bill, said it came from the Elliot Conference, an Illinois-based group that opposes abortion and crafted the model legislation for any state to use.

The Elliot Institute is the home of Dr. David Reardon, the king of alleged “mental impact of abortion” studies, who has claimed among other things that “Abortion only adds to and accentuates the traumatic feelings associated with sexual assault,” and that “Pregnancy resulting from sexual assault is actually a contraindication for abortion.” 


Mini Roundup: Think our rising multitude of 24 hour waiting periods are bad?  At least we aren’t New Zealand, where women are being forced to wait nearly a month for an abortion.  Then again, the two doctor sign off probably still doesn’t require as much paperwork as this writer’s plan for reducing abortions.

July 23, 2010

Debate over legalising abortion intensifies in Argentina – BBC News

Majority Of Calif. Voters Support Abortion Rights, Poll Finds – Medical News Today

Did Pro-Lifers Err in Their Assertions of ObamaCare Abortion Funding? – The New American

New Zealand Clinics Made Women Wait to Get Abortions Done – TopNews United States

Neb. abortion law may not get full legal fight – KTIV

Personhood Colorado Announces Press Conference with Dr. Alan Keyes to Release … – Christian News Wire

GHANA: Ignorance on abortion law means death – IRINnews.org

Both sides of abortion issue at clinic – Charlotte Observer

California Pro-Life Group Disputes Results of Field Poll Showing Abortion Support – LifeNews.com

Senate Republican Leadership Now Unanimously Opposes Pro-Abortion Kagan – LifeNews.com

House Members Slam Obama Admin’s Promise to Not Fund Abortion in Health Care – LifeNews.com

Bruning: Abortion law flawed – Omaha World-Herald

GOP candidates for GA gov clash on abortion, taxes – Washington Examiner

Gov. Christie vetoes bill restoring $7.5M grant for family planning – The Star-Ledger – NJ.com

Will Abortion Loopholes Stay in US Health Law? – Catholic.net

FactCheck.org Confirms: Obamacare Dollars Were Set to Fund Abortions before … – Lifesite

HHS Moves to Block Abortion Funding in High-Risk Pools Following Controversy – Lifesite

Feeling Cheap After Buying Obama’s Abortion BS – ColorLines magazine

Bruning reconsiders defending new abortion law – KHAS-TV

‘Friday Night Lights’ Watch: Private Meets Public – New York Times

Anti-abortion rally launches “Pro-Life Freedom Ride” – al.com

Abortion, taxes are issues in House District 29 primary – Kansas City Star

Christians examine morality of birth control – NewsOK.com

Survey finds England’s teenage pregnancy rate the highest in Western Europe – Macleans.ca

Advocates raise concerns over prosecuting HIV-positive people – Montreal Gazette

AIDS 2010: Obama, Clinton Vow US Support To Global Fight Against HIV/AIDS – Kaiser Family Foundation

New fronts in AIDS war, but funding foe is back – AFP

AIDS Conference Wraps Up in Vienna – Voice of America

July 24, 2010

Fiorina would ordinarily be a long shot in California – Los Angeles Times

The New Abortion Pushers – Human Events

Rep. Chris Smith to Introduce “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” – Lifesite

On ‘Friday Night Lights,’ a brave and honest abortion story – Washington Post

Christie in veto wars over abortion, real estate – Examiner.com

Two Candidates for Governor clash on abortion – Examiner.com

Freedom Ride Tactics to Protest Abortion – FOXNews

HIV cases double among the over-50s – The Guardian

In US cities, HIV linked more to poverty than race – Foster’s Daily Democrat

Maternal, infant mortality rates remain high in sub- Saharan Africa  – Xinhua

Vaginal birth after Caesarean OK for most women, doctors say – Los Angeles Times

July 25, 2010

Abortion fight takes new turn under Obamacare – NewsOK.com

Some may lose help – County health coverage may limit abortions – Winston-Salem Journal

Neb. Abortion Law May Be Reworked – Yankton Daily Press

I guess you can’t tell them what to spend that public money on, right? – Hartford Courant

Court Under Roberts Is Most Conservative in Decades – Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Marino is critical of Carney on fund issues – Wilkes Barre Times-Leader

Abortion eliminated, my way – Spartanburg Herald Journal

Friday Night Lights – Emily Bazelon, David Plotz, and Hanna Rosin – Slate Magazine – Slate Magazine

Abortion divides Ga. GOP gubernatorial rivals – Macon Telegraph

Conservative Leaders Sound Off Against Kenya’s ‘Pro-Abortion’ Constitution- Christian Post

Trial begins on alleged extortion of Pitino – Globe and Mail

Confusion Over Taxpayer-Funded Abortions? Check Your Sources! – About.com: Health

Family Planning welcomes contraceptive funding – New Zealand Doctor Online

Christians Examine Morality Of Birth Control – Huffington Post

CBCP Official Urges Aquino to Clarify Stance on RH Bill – Vox Bikol

US still has a problem with HIV: US NIAID director – Xinhua

Sharp focus on maternal health – East African

July 26, 2010

Abortion foes lend support to Cahill – Boston Globe

Abortions: Should the father have some say? – Helium

CBCP urges Aquino to drop sex ed program, RH bill – GMA news.tv

HIV Vaginal Gel Successful in Deterring HIV Spread – HULIQ

HIV preventative effect too small to justify circumcision, claims new study – Science a Gogo

The rising rate of Caesarian sections by Atty. Rita Linda V. Jimeno – Manila Standard Today

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

Follow Robin Marty on twitter: @robinmarty