LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Abortion clinics would be required to post ultrasound images of fetuses to a state website under a bill that a Nebraska senator introduced Thursday.
Sen. Bob Krist of Omaha said he introduced the measure because he wants women to have access to non-judgmental, scientific information when deciding whether to have an abortion.
The live images, provided by the nonprofit Endowment for Human Development and posted on the website of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, would show fetuses at various stages of growth. The state website also would provide alternatives to abortions, and a list of health care locations that offer free ultrasounds.
Jill June, president of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, said in a statement that women should receive unbiased information on health care, but doesn't agree with posting the informational link about fetus development to its website. She said Planned Parenthood doctors provide one-on-one discussions with patients and answer any questions a woman might have.
"We oppose any legislation that attempts to interfere in a woman's ability to make her own health care decisions," June said. "The bottom line is that a woman should be able to make informed decisions about her own pregnancy without biased government intrusion."
Nebraska Right to Life executive director Julie Schmit-Albin said her group worked with Krist to draft the bill. She said the bill attempts to deliver abortion information to women electronically. Schmit-Albin would like to see Nebraska's information be modeled after Kansas, which has a website called Women's Right to Know Act.
"As technology improves, our statutes need to keep up, especially when it's a life or death situation," she said.
In 1993, DHHS began printing booklets with pictures of how fetuses develop in the womb. Schmit-Albin said the booklets were not being handed out to all women considering abortions and that women have instead been told to call an 800 number.
"Our abortion facilities should not be able to skirt the law," she said.