***For Immediate Release***
June 28, 2010 (LINCOLN, Nebraska) – Planned Parenthood of the Heartland announces the filing of a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of LB 594, the Women's Health Protection Act. The Act, passed in April and scheduled to go into effect on July 15, 2010, purports to ensure that women are "informed" before consenting to an abortion, but actually imposes requirements that are both impossible to meet and require physicians to flood their patients with false and misleading information.
The lawsuit names Governor Dave Heineman, Attorney General Jon Bruning, Kerry Winterer and Dr. Joann Schaefer of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, and Crystal Higgins and Brenda Bergman-Evans of the Nebraska Boards of Nursing and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses as defendants.
"Our clients rely upon us to provide honest, medically accurate and client-centered information. We are filing suit today so that women can make truly informed decisions about their health care. Presenting pseudo-science as fact is something that Planned Parenthood does not do," said President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland Jill June.
The suit maintains that it is not possible to comply with the Act's requirements, or that the requirements are too vague for a physician to be certain that he or she has complied, and that it is unconstitutional to force physicians either to cease providing abortion care, or always be at risk of penalty for non-compliance. The suit also maintains that it is a violation of doctors' first amendment rights to compel them to make medical statements they know are false.
Planned Parenthood of the Heartland filed suit in Federal District Court in Lincoln, Nebraska.
"We intend to take this case as far as necessary to protect the rights and health of the women we serve," said Jill June.
Planned Parenthood of the Heartland has served women and men of all ages in the Heartland since the mid-1930s. Today the agency offers a full range of quality reproductive health care services to residents in Nebraska, 86 Iowa counties and three counties in Illinois through 23 medical centers and Education and Resource Centers located in Des Moines, Lincoln and Omaha.