Nebraska’s Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act Could have a lot to do with Decline in Abortion Rate

Editor’s note. The following is adapted from information provided by Nebraska Right to Life.

LINCOLN—-Statistics from the Nebraska Health & Human Services Department  (DHHS) show a 10% decline in the number of abortions performed during the first six months of 2011 as compared to the number performed during the first six months of 2010. 

There were 1,153 abortions performed from January through June 2011, a decrease from 1,288 for the same period in 2010.  Nebraska Right to Life believes this 10% decline could be in large part due to the passage of LB 1103–the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act—which went into effect last October. LB1103 protects from abortion those unborn children capable of feeling pain, conservatively defined in the law as 20 weeks post-fertilization.

“Although we have yet to get from DHHS the numbers of abortions done in three counties in each year, it is clear that LeRoy Carhart taking his abortion business to Maryland probably has a lot to do with this ten percent decline in abortions in Nebraska,” said Julie Schmit-Albin, Executive Director of Nebraska Right to Life. “Legislation does save lives. Carhart admitted when LB 1103 was enacted last fall that he would be forced by the law to do late abortions out of the state.”

Schmit-Albin added, “Once all the statistics are in for 2011 we will be able to gauge just how large Carhart’s impact was on the number of abortions in Nebraska.”

LB 1103 was Nebraska Right to Life’s priority legislation in 2010, sponsored and prioritized by Speaker Mike Flood. The legislation, drafted by drafted by National Right to Life’s Department of State Legislation, has gone on to pass in Oklahoma, Alabama, Kansas, and Idaho in 2011, becoming the model for the country. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act has not been challenged in the courts by the abortion industry.

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