Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Judge: Transport prisoner for abortion


OMAHA, Neb. — A federal judge on Monday granted a Nebraska prisoner’s request for an abortion and ordered state officials to transport her to a clinic so she can get the procedure today, but the inmate will have to pay for the procedure herself and cover the state’s costs to transport and guard her.

Prison officials had previously rejected the woman’s request for an abortion, prompting her to file a civil rights lawsuit on Friday with with support from the American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska.

U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Bataillon ordered prison officials to transport the inmate to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Lincoln for “informed consent” counseling on Monday, as required by state law, and back to the clinic the next day to have the procedure done.

The ruling came after state attorneys and the ACLU struck an agreement where prison officials would drive the inmate to her appointmen­ts, but the inmate would pay $355 to pay the state for the cost of transporti­ng and guarding her. The agreement also requires Planned Parenthood to confirm in writing that it won’t bill the state for the procedure.

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