LINCOLN, Nebraska, May 23, 2011 ( – The Nebraska legislature has passed a bill that would make it a felony for abortionists to perform medical abortions via webcam, also known as “telemed” abortions.

The bill, LB 521, passed the final stage of debate 38 to 9, with two not voting. LB 521, introduced by Senator Tony Fulton of Lincoln and prioritized by Senator Dave Bloomfield of Hoskins, places in law the prohibition against telemed abortions that previously existed as regulations under the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

“Huge kudos to the Nebraska Legislature for stopping chemical webcam abortions before they start by passing LB 521,” said Julie Schmit-Albin, Executive Director of Nebraska Right to Life, in a press release Monday.

“Since the abortion industry comes up with new methods of killing unborn children, it’s up to States to address something that wasn’t even occurring when Roe v. Wade came into being in 1973,” said Schmit-Albin. 

The local leader noted that Planned Parenthood of the Heartland began telemed abortions in Iowa in 2008, and has conducted over 2,000 such abortions since then. Critics say the procedure is too dangerous given the high rate of complications and even deaths associated with use of the abortion drug.

Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director from Bryan, Texas, has said that telemedicine would put women at risk, but this has not stopped Planned Parenthood from seeking to roll out the new protocol across America. “Even when I was a 2008 Planned Parenthood ‘employee of the year,’ I thought this system sounded risky,” said Johnson in June of last year.

Schmidt-Albin said that the legislature “rightly concluded” that the Cornhusker state “did not need to be the next testing ground for Planned Parenthood’s desire to expand chemical abortions beyond urban areas of the State.”

Nebraska joins Kansas, Oklahoma and Arizona in passing webcam abortion bills this year.