Medication abortion bill passed

A bill that requires medical professionals to provide additional information to women seeking abortions passed May 30 after a successful cloture vote.

<a href='http://news.legislature.ne.gov/dist17' target='_blank' title='Link to the website of Sen. Joni Albrecht'>Sen. Joni Albrecht</a>
Sen. Joni Albrecht

LB209, introduced by Thurston Sen. Joni Albrecht, requires medical providers to inform a woman seeking an abortion that the first of two drugs administered during a medical abortion—mifepristone—is not always effective in ending a pregnancy.

In addition to other information already required under existing law, the bill requires a provider to inform a woman that if she changes her mind and wants to continue a pregnancy after taking mifepristone, she may consult the state Department of Health and Human Services’ website.

The bill directs DHHS to publish information on the agency’s website about the effectiveness of mifepristone in ending pregnancy as well as contact information for medical assistance.

DHHS will collect data from medical providers every time a woman attempts to continue a pregnancy after taking an initial dose of mifepristone. The data collected will include the woman’s age, facility location, name of the attending physician, any complications experienced and other relevant medical information.

The information will be included in the annual DHHS report on abortion in Nebraska.

LB209 also exempts breastfeeding from the state’s public indecency statutes.

After an hour of debate on final reading, Albrecht filed a motion to invoke cloture, or cease debate and vote on the bill. The motion prevailed 36-12. Thirty-three votes were needed.

Senators then passed the bill on a 36-12 vote.

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