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Nebraska attorney general won't defend abortion law

At funeral services in Anchorage for former senator Ted Stevens, who was killed in a plane crash last week, Vice President Biden embraces his widow, Catherine Stevens.
At funeral services in Anchorage for former senator Ted Stevens, who was killed in a plane crash last week, Vice President Biden embraces his widow, Catherine Stevens. (Rick Bowmer/associated Press)

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

NEBRASKA

Attorney general won't defend abortion law

Nebraska's attorney general will not defend a new state law requiring health screenings for women seeking abortions, because there is little chance that the controversial law will prevail in court, his spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Attorney General Jon Bruning (R) agreed to a permanent federal injunction against enforcement of the law, which faces a challenge from Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, said his spokeswoman, Shannon Kingery.

"It is evident from the judge's ruling [to temporarily block the law from taking effect] that LB594 will ultimately be found unconstitutional," she said. "Losing this case would require Nebraska taxpayers to foot the bill for Planned Parenthood's legal fee. We will not squander the state's resources on a case that has very little probability of winning."

The law would require women wanting abortions to be screened by doctors or other health professionals to determine whether they had risk factors indicating they could have mental or physical problems after an abortion. If screening wasn't performed or was performed inadequately, a woman with mental or physical problems resulting from an abortion could file a civil lawsuit, according to the law. Doctors would not face criminal charges or lose their medical licenses. The law was to take effect July 15, but U.S. District Judge Laurie Smith Camp has temporarily blocked it from taking effect.

-- Associated Press

No more timelines for completing gulf relief well: Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said Wednesday that he will no longer give a timeline for completing the final stages of plugging BP's runaway well. Allen said he doesn't want to give timelines anymore because of the possibility that he may have to change them, which could cause a credibility problem.

Republican rejects offer to quit Colo. race: Dan Maes, the Republican gubernatorial candidate in Colorado, has rejected an offer from former GOP congressman Tom Tancredo, who has mounted a third-party campaign, for both men to get out of the race and let the party pick a new candidate. State Republican Party Chairman Dick Wadhams said he delivered Tancredo's offer Wednesday, adding that he will continue to back Maes, who won the GOP primary last week.

-- From news services


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