With the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2022, states were empowered to establish their own laws regarding abortion. In 2023, the Nebraska abortion law continued to evolve. In this article, we will lay out important aspects of the Nebraska abortion law.
12-Week Ban: The Core of Nebraska's Abortion Law
On May 22, 2023, Governor Jim Pillen signed LB574 into law. At the heart of the Nebraska abortion law is a ban on abortion at 12 weeks of pregnancy. This ban makes it illegal to perform abortions after 12 weeks and zero days of pregnancy, measured from the first day of your last menstrual period.
Exceptions to the Ban: When Abortion Remains Legal
A physician can perform an abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy under certain circumstances:
• Medical emergency — if a delay in terminating the pregnancy “will create a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function,” or if it threatens the mother’s life
• Pregnancy resulting from sexual assault or incest as defined by the law
Important Clarifications: Situations That Are Not Considered to Be Abortion
Nebraska’s law does not consider the following situations to be abortion, as quoted from LB574:
• Removal of an ectopic pregnancy
• Removal of the remains of a preborn child who has already died
• An act done with the intention to save the life or preserve the health of the preborn child
• The accidental or unintentional termination of the life of a preborn child
• During the practice of in vitro fertilization or another assisted reproductive technology, the termination or loss of the life of a preborn child who is not being carried inside a woman’s body
Additional Requirements before Obtaining an Abortion
If you are considering your pregnancy options, there are additional requirements under Nebraska law to be aware of.
• Waiting period: Before obtaining an abortion, you must wait 24 hours after receiving counseling from a licensed pregnancy service provider.
• Parental consent: Minors (under 18) seeking an abortion need written consent from a parent or legal guardian.
• Regulations on abortion providers: Nebraska imposes specific regulations on abortion clinics and healthcare providers, which can sometimes reduce the number of accessible abortion providers.
Legal Uncertainty: The Evolving Landscape
Remember, Nebraska’s 12-week ban is not set in stone for all time. Legal challenges could overturn it or modify its implementation. Staying informed about ongoing court cases and having access to up-to-date pregnancy options education are crucial for understanding your rights and determining your next steps.
Navigating Your Choices: Making Informed Decisions about Abortion
While the legal landscape may be complex, it is important to know that there are free resources available to help you better understand your options and support you during your pregnancy! These resources include free pregnancy testing, free ultrasounds, free STI testing, and other pregnancy and parenting support. If you would like to talk to someone about how to navigate your pregnancy based on the latest Nebraska law, text Essential Pregnancy Services at (402) 566-5579.
Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Please consult with a qualified attorney for specific legal questions regarding abortion in Nebraska.