The Judiciary Committee has heard testimony on a bill that would require abortion clinics be defined as ambulatory surgical centers.
Greg Schleppenbach with the Nebraska Catholic Conference says abortion clinics must be equipped for emergencies.
“The real potential for life-threatening complications from abortion is reason enough for abortion facilities to be subject to the same regulatory oversight as other similar surgical centers,” Schleppenbach tells committee members.
But, opponent Deloris Tonack contends the bill would make it more difficult for women to seek legal abortions at licensed clinics.
“This is not a bill to improve health risks, but quite the contrary a bill that could nudge patients to seek unsafe procedures,” according to Tonack.
Planned Parenthood of the Heartland’s Mike Falkstrom says the bill might force Nebraska abortion clinics to close their doors.
“This bill is unnecessary,” Falkstrom says. “It is potentially unconstitutional and it could in fact pose a threat to women’s health.”
But supporter, Anna Paprocki of Americans United for Life, doesn’t see how the bill would force clinics to close.
“It does not outlaw abortions. It does not close clinics,” Paprocki says. “It’s the abortion providers themselves who would choose if they did not want to invest in the women that they see; if they don’t want to provide that appropriate amount of care, they would be the ones choosing to close their doors and to leave.”
LB 114 defines an abortion clinic that performs five or more abortions a month as an Ambulatory Surgical Center.