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Nebraska Abortion Bill Gets First Round Approval

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Jenny Nowatzke

LINCOLN (KPTM) - It's a question that may pave the way for how abortions are carried out in Nebraska, "when can a fetus feel pain?"

Some say it's 24 weeks, others like Nebraska State Senator Mike Flood, think differently.

"I believe the science shows, at 20 weeks, unborn children feel pain."

Monday, Sen. Flood introduced a bill that would outlaw abortions starting 20 weeks after conception, instead of the current ban which is set at 24 weeks.  With a vote of 38–5, the bill gained first round approval in the legislature.

"This bill isn't about fetal pain, it's about pushing the envelope to get rid of women's rights," said Sen. Danielle Conrad, who voted against the bill along with Sen. Brenda Council.

"It's advancing political agendas above the real interests of women and children in this state," Sen. Council said.

Their main concerns lie in the details.

For example, if a woman is in the advanced stages of her pregnancy and discovers her child has a potentially fatal condition, she wouldn't have the option of having an abortion.

But, if she was pregnant with twins, she could choose to abort one, if both babies were endanger.

"It's a total disregard for the interests of the mothers and families who have to make difficult decisions," said Sen. Council.

"We're not talking about engineering perfect babies. We celebrate diversity and disabilities, but when you have pregnancy that can't sustain life outside the womb, it closes the door," said Sen. Conrad.

The bill now faces two rounds of debate, before it hits the governor's desk for approval.  If the bill is passed, it would go into effect October 15th.

Opponents argue, if it does, they will challenge it in court – which could end up costing Nebraska taxpayers.

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