Recent news accounts have said that Mello supported legislation that would require women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound. However, according to a contemporaneous Associated Press report from 2009, the bill Mello co-sponsored "requires the physician performing the abortion to tell a woman an ultrasound is available, but it doesn't require the ultrasound to be performed." If a woman does elect to undergo an ultrasound, the images from the ultrasound must be displayed simultaneously. Mello called the measure a "positive first step to reducing the number of abortions in Nebraska."
Planned Parenthood has also released a statement:
Statement from Planned Parenthood Voters of Nebraska regarding Heath Mello
Planned Parenthood Voters of Nebraska has never endorsed Heath Mello for public office nor has Planned Parenthood Voters of Nebraska given Heath Mello a 100% rating, as some media outlets have erroneously reported. That's an inaccurate representation of Planned Parenthood Voters of Nebraska's scorecard.
Planned Parenthood Voters of Nebraska only scores votes on passed legislation.
In 2011, PPVN's scorecard shows Heath Mello voting against Planned Parenthood's position on 3 votes – all abortion related.
In 2015, PPVN scored two votes in the Nebraska legislature, which were Medicaid and family planning related. PPVN's scorecard shows Heath Mello voting in favor of the Planned Parenthood position. To be clear, that does not translate into a 100% rating or an endorsement.
Heath Mello has introduced and supported anti-choice legislation during his time at the Nebraska Unicameral, and Planned Parenthood Voters of Nebraska strongly opposed him when he took such actions.
Over the course of Heath Mello's campaign for Omaha Mayor he has said loud and clear he supports Planned Parenthood and wants to protect the work we do. Although he has not started that conversation with us, our door is always open and we welcome the opportunity to start a productive dialogue on how Heath Mello can help us promote and protect access to women's health care in Nebraska.
Planned Parenthood Voters of Nebraska is a nonpartisan organization. We will hold any political party, any candidate for public office, and any elected official accountable for not standing up for reproductive rights that are fundamental to women's health care, economic security, and well being. Politicians cannot say they are supporting women's health and rights unless that includes the ability for women to make decisions about their own body, and what's best for their families.
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