Last week, a law restricting abortions in Nebraska was permanently blocked from taking effect. The law, which was passed earlier this year in the state, would have required a health screening for any woman planning to have an abortion.
On Wednesday, Nebraska’s Attorney General Jon Bruning said he agreed to a permanent injunction against the new law, reported the Washington Post. The law was challenged by Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and had already been prohibited from taking effect by a temporary ruling earlier this year.
Spokeswoman Shannon Kingery for the attorney general's office told the Washington Post that Bruning did not think the law had much chance against a lawsuit. "Losing this case would require Nebraska taxpayers to foot the bill for Planned Parenthood's legal fee," said Kingery. "We will not squander the state's resources on a case that has very little probability of winning."
However, if a second state abortion law is challenged, the pro-life organization, Nebraska Right to Life, is confident the attorney general will defend it.
The law, scheduled to take effect on October 15, would ban abortions after 20 weeks of gestation based on research which says fetuses can feel pain at that point. The law would preempt current legislation which limits late term abortions only to those infants whose lives outside the womb aren’t deemed viable.
According to the Washington Post, the Center for Reproductive Rights has suggested that they may challenge the ban.
"Any suggestion that Attorney General Bruning is shirking his responsibility to defend pro-life legislation is not shared by Nebraska Right to Life," said Julie Schmit-Albin, the organization’s executive director. “We are confident that the attorney general will vigorously defend any attack on that law,” should that law be taken to court.