Nebraska has enacted what is being described as one of the country's strongest ultrasound bills for women considering abortion.
The single-chamber Nebraska legislature voted 40-5 May 29 for the legislation, and Gov. Dave Heineman, a Republican, signed the measure into law the same day.
What sets apart the new Nebraska law from other states is its requirement when an ultrasound is performed that an abortion doctor display the image for the mother to see rather than requiring the woman to ask for the sonogram to be shown, according to the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC). Under the law, the mother can choose whether to view the image.
The law also requires an abortion provider to inform the woman considering abortion of the medical risks of the procedure and the estimated age of the unborn child. In addition, it mandates she be told she cannot be forced to choose an abortion and that assistance is available if she decides to give birth.
"It is absolutely vital that a woman, at this most crucial life-and-death juncture, be provided all the information possible about the abortion procedure and the development of her unborn child," said Mary Spaulding Balch, National Right to Life's state legislative director. "Simply put, the abortion decision cannot be undone. Women deserve all the facts."
Eighteen other states have ultrasound laws, according to National Right to Life.
Nebraska's legislature is non-partisan.