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Nebraska gov will defend new abortion law

April 14, 2010 at 9:29 AM

LINCOLN, Neb., April 14 (UPI) -- Nebraska's Republican governor says two new abortion laws passed by the state legislature represent "sound public policy" and are worth defending in court.

Gov. Dave Heineman says he is willing to fight any legal challenges filed against the measures, the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald reports. "These represent the values and beliefs of most Nebraskans," Heineman said Tuesday.

He made the comments shortly after signing the two controversial measures.

The first law holds doctors civilly responsible for performing extensive screenings required for all women seeking abortions in Nebraska.

The second measure bans abortions at 20 weeks after fertilization, the point at which some experts believe a fetus can experience pain.

Abortions after 20 weeks are allowed only to protect a woman's life or prevent major physical health problems.

Kyle Carlson of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland says his organization is reviewing its legal options.

Carlson's Iowa-based agency offers abortions at a clinic in Lincoln.

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