OMAHA, Neb. – A federal judge on Wednesday blocked a new Nebraska law requiring mental health screenings for women seeking abortions because the measure could have made it impossible to get an abortion in the state.
U.S. District Judge Laurie Smith Camp granted Planned Parenthood  of the Heartland's request for a preliminary injunction against the law, which was supposed to take effect Thursday. The order will prevent the state from enforcing the law until the lawsuit challenging it is decided.
State officials have said the law is designed to make sure women understand the risks and complications that may accompany an abortion.
Smith Camp said the evidence presented so far showed that the screening law would make it harder for women to get an abortion in Nebraska by requiring screenings that could be impossible to perform under a literal reading of the law. She also said the law would make doctors who perform abortions at risk of crippling lawsuits.
"The effect of LB 594 will be to place substantial, likely insurmountable, obstacles in the path of women seeking abortions in Nebraska," Smith Camp said.
"Plaintiffs have presented substantial evidence that the disclosures mandated by LB 594, if applied literally, will require medical providers to give untruthful, misleading and irrelevant information to patients," Smith Camp said in her ruling."