By Deena Winter | Nebraska Watchdog
Updated 4:25 p.m. Wednesday
LINCOLN, Neb. – Papillion Sen. Bill Kintner has introduced a bill that would require clinics that perform abortions to put up signs telling patients that it’s against the law for anyone to force them to have abortions.
Kintner’s bill, LB1032, says the sign must be legible and written in at least three-quarters of an inch, boldface type and conspicuously posted in waiting, admission and patient rooms.
The signs would say:
Notice: It is against the law for anyone, regardless of his or her relationship to you, to force you to have an abortion. By law, we cannot perform an abortion on you unless we have your freely given and voluntary consent. It is against the law to perform an abortion on you against your will. You have the right to contact any local or state law enforcement agency to receive protection from any actual or threatened physical abuse or violence.
Violations of the law would carry a $10,000 penalty, with each day that abortions are performed without the signs posted treated as separate violations.
Omaha Sen. Ernie Chambers quickly condemned the bill Wednesday on the floor of the Legislature during debate on an unrelated bill. Chambers asked Kintner if he drafted or wrote the bill, but Kintner repeatedly said, “We’ll discuss it in committee.”
Chambers accused Kintner of not reading the bill and noted the $10,000 penalty, calling it “The most asinine thing I’ve ever seen put in a bill.”
“I’ve never seen anything so asinine in my life,” Chambers said.
Julie Schmit-Albin, executive director of Nebraska Right to Life, responded to Chambers via Twitter that she’d “take that as a compliment considering the source.” She told Nebraska Watchdog Right to Life supports the bill because it will ensure women and young girls in an abortion facility know it’s against the law to be forced or coerced into having an abortion. Louisiana, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Tennessee have similar laws, she said.
Kintner was not immediately available for comment. The bill was cosponsored by Bellevue Sen. Tommy Garrett.
A retired Methodist minister, Mel Luetchens, announced today he will challenge Kintner for his seat in the Legislature again, as he did in 2012. Last year, Luetchens called on Kintner to apologize for accepting nearly $1,400 in donated campaign signs from convicted felon and former sex shop owner “Doctor John” Haltom and to give the money to a charity that advocates for women, children and families.
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