LINCOLN — Nebraska lawmakers closed the door Monday on a practice that has made drug-induced abortions more easily available in Iowa.
Senators passed a bill blocking the use of telemedicine for such abortions.
Legislative Bill 521 now heads to Gov. Dave Heineman, who is expected to sign it into law.
The measure, sponsored by State Sen. Tony Fulton of Lincoln, requires doctors to be in the same room with patients when performing an abortion or prescribing drugs to induce abortion.
In Iowa, a woman can go to one of 16 clinics, get a pregnancy test, undergo an ultrasound and be examined by a nurse. The patient then talks with a doctor via the Internet on a private computer.
The doctor can remotely open a container to provide the patient with two medications used to induce an abortion. One is taken immediately, and the other two days later.
Anti-abortion groups have raised concern that such a program could be on its way to Nebraska.
Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, which serves both Iowa and Nebraska, recently announced plans to open clinics in Fremont, Grand Island, Norfolk, Kearney, Hastings and North Platte.
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