Bill Kintner

Nebraska State Sen. Bill Kintner's name has been removed from the list of legislators on the floor of the Unicameral at the State Capitol Building in Lincoln on Thursday, Feb 2.

LINCOLN — Lawmakers will not consider an abortion-related bill introduced by former Papillion State Sen. Bill Kintner because no senators stepped forward to take it over.

Kintner, who resigned last month, introduced Legislative Bill 59, which would have required the websites of abortion clinics to link to information about fetal development and ultrasound videos maintained by the state.

The bill would have required the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services to maintain the videos on its website, along with existing information about fetal development, alternative options to abortion and places that provide free ultrasounds.

The bill had three co-sponsors, Sens. Lydia Brasch of Bancroft, Tom Brewer of Gordon and Steve Erdman of Bayard. None offered to take over the bill, leaving it without a sponsor.

Julie Schmit-Albin, executive director of Nebraska Right to Life, which had backed the proposal, called the situation frustrating.

“If the Legislature is full of pro-life senators, why wouldn’t someone pick it up?” she asked. “It’s very disappointing.”

Schmit-Albin acknowledged that getting the bill passed would have been unlikely, but she said it would have been useful to bring out the issues at a public hearing.

The next step will be to talk with HHS officials about voluntarily adding the videos to the department website, she said. Past agency leaders had been reluctant to add the information without backing from a state law, she said.

Sen. Merv Riepe of Ralston, chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee, said Speaker of the Legislature Jim Scheer advised committees to kill any of Kintner’s bills that were not adopted by other senators. HHS committee members voted 7-0 on the motion to kill LB 59.

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Martha Stoddard keeps legislators honest from The World-Herald's Lincoln bureau, where she covers news from the State Capitol. Follow her on Twitter @StoddardOWH. Phone: 402-473-9583.

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