LINCOLN–(KFOR Apr. 12)–A bill that would ban abortions in Nebraska before many women know they’re pregnant is now on the floor of the Legislature for the first of three rounds of debate.

The bill, LB 626, would outlaw abortions if an ultrasound detects embryonic cardiac activity, which usually happens after six weeks of gestation.  However, bill sponsor and Thurston Senator Joni Albrecht on Wednesday morning said there would be exceptions “in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.”

Abortion rights advocates say the bill is effectively an outright ban and other opponents argue it’s putting women and doctors in Nebraska at risk.

“Government should not shame them,” Lincoln Sen. Danielle Conrad said on floor debate on Wednesday afternoon.  “It should not interfere in the doctor/patient relationship and it should not criminalize women and doctors.”

Albrecht has held together a group of 33 senators, 32 Republicans and one Democrat, that are just enough votes to overcome cloture in the first round of debate.