Lincoln, NE—Despite claims to the contrary, the bill introduced today by Sen. Suzanne Geist was not designed to protect women’s health. Instead, it could harm Nebraska women.
“LB 814 is not based on a desire to improve women’s health, but rather aims to eliminate access to abortion as part of a larger anti-abortion strategy to ban abortion method by method,” said Andi Curry Grubb, Nebraska Executive Director of Planned Parenthood North Central States. “That is why we, as medical professionals, join the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in opposing these bills.”
According to the ACOG, “[q]uite simply, these restrictions represent legislative interference at its worst: doctors will be forced, by ill-advised, unscientifically motivated policy, to provide lesser care to patients. This is unacceptable.”[i]
When the Kansas legislature was considering a similar method ban, 22 physicians, all experts in obstetrics and gynecology, signed a letter in opposition to the bill, arguing that the bill would “restrict the safest and most expeditious way to terminate a second-trimester pregnancy” and “could also force physicians to provide substandard care to second-trimester abortion patients.”[ii]
While most abortions are performed during the first trimester[iii], there are various reasons why some women will need an abortion during the second trimester.[iv] Some health risks to pregnant women may not become apparent early in pregnancy and identification of fetal anomalies most often occur during the second trimester.[v] Furthermore, increased barriers to abortion such as mandated waiting periods, delays in accessing insurance or funds, and decreased availability of appointments may force some women to obtain abortion care during the second trimester instead of earlier in pregnancy.
“Planned Parenthood opposes medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion, like this one, that interferes with a physician’s ability to provide care to their patients and could cause patients harm,” continued Curry Grubb.