2017 Nebraska Revised Statutes
Chapter 28 - CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS
28-327 Abortion; voluntary and informed consent required; exception.
Abortion; voluntary and informed consent required; exception.
No abortion shall be performed except with the voluntary and informed consent of the woman upon whom the abortion is to be performed. Except in the case of an emergency situation, consent to an abortion is voluntary and informed only if:
(1) The woman is told the following by the physician who is to perform the abortion, by the referring physician, or by a physician assistant or registered nurse licensed under the Uniform Credentialing Act who is an agent of either physician, at least twenty-four hours before the abortion:
(a) The particular medical risks associated with the particular abortion procedure to be employed including, when medically accurate, the risks of infection, hemorrhage, perforated uterus, danger to subsequent pregnancies, and infertility;
(b) The probable gestational age of the unborn child at the time the abortion is to be performed;
(c) The medical risks associated with carrying her child to term; and
(d) That she cannot be forced or required by anyone to have an abortion and is free to withhold or withdraw her consent for an abortion.
The person providing the information specified in this subdivision to the person upon whom the abortion is to be performed shall be deemed qualified to so advise and provide such information only if, at a minimum, he or she has had training in each of the following subjects: Sexual and reproductive health; abortion technology; contraceptive technology; short-term counseling skills; community resources and referral; and informed consent. The physician or the physician's agent may provide this information by telephone without conducting a physical examination or tests of the patient, in which case the information required to be supplied may be based on facts supplied by the patient and whatever other relevant information is reasonably available to the physician or the physician's agent;
(2) The woman is informed by telephone or in person, by the physician who is to perform the abortion, by the referring physician, or by an agent of either physician, at least twenty-four hours before the abortion:
(a) The name of the physician who will perform the abortion;
(b) That medical assistance benefits may be available for prenatal care, childbirth, and neonatal care;
(c) That the father is liable to assist in the support of her child, even in instances in which the father has offered to pay for the abortion;
(d) That she has the right to review the printed materials described in section 28-327.01. The physician or his or her agent shall orally inform the woman that the materials have been provided by the Department of Health and Human Services and that they describe the unborn child and list agencies which offer alternatives to abortion. If the woman chooses to review the materials, they shall either be given to her at least twenty-four hours before the abortion or mailed to her at least seventy-two hours before the abortion by certified mail, restricted delivery to addressee, which means the postal employee can only deliver the mail to the addressee. The physician and his or her agent may disassociate themselves from the materials and may comment or refrain from commenting on them as they choose; and
(e) That she has the right to request a comprehensive list, compiled by the Department of Health and Human Services, of health care providers, facilities, and clinics that offer to have ultrasounds performed by a person at least as qualified as a registered nurse licensed under the Uniform Credentialing Act, including and specifying those that offer to perform such ultrasounds free of charge. The list shall be arranged geographically and shall include the name, address, hours of operation, and telephone number of each entity. If requested by the woman, the physician who is to perform the abortion, the referring physician, or his or her agent shall provide such a list as compiled by the department;
(3) If an ultrasound is used prior to the performance of an abortion, the physician who is to perform the abortion, the referring physician, or a physician assistant or registered nurse licensed under the Uniform Credentialing Act who is an agent of either physician, or any qualified agent of either physician, shall:
(a) Perform an ultrasound of the woman's unborn child of a quality consistent with standard medical practice in the community at least one hour prior to the performance of the abortion;
(b) Simultaneously display the ultrasound images so that the woman may choose to view the ultrasound images or not view the ultrasound images. The woman shall be informed that the ultrasound images will be displayed so that she is able to view them. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to require the woman to view the displayed ultrasound images; and
(c) If the woman requests information about the displayed ultrasound image, her questions shall be answered. If she requests a detailed, simultaneous, medical description of the ultrasound image, one shall be provided that includes the dimensions of the unborn child, the presence of cardiac activity, if present and viewable, and the presence of external members and internal organs, if present and viewable;
(4) At least one hour prior to the performance of an abortion, a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, mental health practitioner, physician assistant, registered nurse, or social worker licensed under the Uniform Credentialing Act has:
(a) Evaluated the pregnant woman to identify if the pregnant woman had the perception of feeling pressured or coerced into seeking or consenting to an abortion;
(b) Evaluated the pregnant woman to identify the presence of any risk factors associated with abortion;
(c) Informed the pregnant woman and the physician who is to perform the abortion of the results of the evaluation in writing. The written evaluation shall include, at a minimum, a checklist identifying both the positive and negative results of the evaluation for each risk factor associated with abortion and both the licensed person's written certification and the woman's written certification that the pregnant woman was informed of the risk factors associated with abortion as discussed; and
(d) Retained a copy of the written evaluation results in the pregnant woman's permanent record;
(5) If any risk factors associated with abortion were identified, the pregnant woman was informed of the following in such manner and detail that a reasonable person would consider material to a decision of undergoing an elective medical procedure:
(a) Each complication associated with each identified risk factor; and
(b) Any quantifiable risk rates whenever such relevant data exists;
(6) The physician performing the abortion has formed a reasonable medical judgment, documented in the permanent record, that:
(a) The preponderance of statistically validated medical studies demonstrates that the physical, psychological, and familial risks associated with abortion for patients with risk factors similar to the patient's risk factors are negligible risks;
(b) Continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman greater than if the pregnancy were terminated by induced abortion; or
(c) Continuance of the pregnancy would involve less risk of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman than if the pregnancy were terminated by an induced abortion;
(7) The woman certifies in writing, prior to the abortion, that:
(a) The information described in subdivisions (1) and (2)(a), (b), and (c) of this section has been furnished her;
(b) She has been informed of her right to review the information referred to in subdivision (2)(d) of this section; and
(c) The requirements of subdivision (3) of this section have been performed if an ultrasound is performed prior to the performance of the abortion; and
(8) Prior to the performance of the abortion, the physician who is to perform the abortion or his or her agent receives a copy of the written certification prescribed by subdivision (7) of this section. The physician or his or her agent shall retain a copy of the signed certification form in the woman's medical record.
- Laws 1977, LB 38, § 42;
- Laws 1979, LB 316, § 2;
- Laws 1984, LB 695, § 2;
- Laws 1993, LB 110, § 2;
- Laws 1996, LB 1044, § 60;
- Laws 2009, LB675, § 2;
- Laws 2010, LB594, § 4.
- Uniform Credentialing Act, see section 38-101.
This section does not create an independent cause of action under section 25-206. The right of action for violation of this section is "against the person who performed the abortion or attempted to perform the abortion." Hill v. Women's Med. Ctr. of Neb., 254 Neb. 827, 580 N.W.2d 102 (1998).
Sections 28-326(8), 28-327, 28-333, and 28-343 (1979) regulating abortion were unconstitutional. Womens Services, P.C. v. Thone, 690 F.2d 667 (8th Cir. 1982).
The interest of the state in having women who seek abortions make a thoughtful decision after receiving certain information, while legitimate, is not sufficiently compelling to justify the substantial burden imposed by the requirement of a forty-eight hour wait between the expression of informed consent and the performance of the abortion. Therefor, sections 28-327 and 28-328 (1979) imposing the waiting period are unconstitutional and their implementation is permanently enjoined. Womens Services, P.C. v. Thone, 483 F.Supp. 1022 (D. Neb. 1979).