Nebraska Senator Single-Handedly Holding Up Unborn Victims Bill

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 3, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Nebraska Senator Single-Handedly Holding Up Unborn Victims Bill

by Paul Nowak Staff Writer
April 3, 2004

Omaha, NE ( — Legislation drafted to strengthen Nebraska’s unborn victims bill may not get a chance to clear the state legislature, as twenty-one amendments have been filed by pro-abortion Senator Ernie Chambers of Omaha.

Some of the amendments reflect the attitude of the filing lawmaker, and belie are intended only to stall the legislation.

One amendment would change the bill’s name from "The Assault of an Unborn Child Act” to "The Assault on the Separation between Church and State.” Another replaces all instances of "unborn child" with "laddy or lassy." Yet another adds the following statement to the bill:

"Any prosecutor who files a charge under this act prior to the alleged victim having reached the fetal stage of development when body structures are in recognizable form shall be taken into custody by the sheriff of the county where such charge has been filed and such sheriff shall straightaway transport and deliver such prosecutor to the nearest Regional Center for the purposed of having such prosecutor’s head examined by a licensed psychiatrist."

LB958 would strengthen the state’s unborn victims bill by allowing for charges not only in the death of, but in any assault on a pregnant woman that harms her unborn child. Sen. Chabers’ tactics will likely keep the legislation from passing, Nebraska Right to Life Executive Director Julie Schmit-Albin told

"Senator Chambers is threatening to prevent this bill from passing," said Schmit-Albin. "In our one-chamber legislature, it will not be hard for him to do."

Schmit-Albin explained that to obtain a cloture vote to end discussion of a bill, especially pro-life legislation to which Sen. Chambers is opposed, they need 33 of the 49 members to vote in support – more votes than are needed to override a veto by the governor. With no other legislative body to balance the Nebraska Senate, Sen. Chambers apparently holds greater power over lawmakers in Nebraska than Governor Mike Johanns.

"They [the Senate] practically have to ask Sen. Chambers what legislation they may consider each session," said Schmit-Albin.

While the Senate could oppose or censor Sen. Chambers, they have become weaker in their opposition to his control of the legislature, according to Schmit-Albin.

But during debate on Legislation that would make sure Nebraska schools are not involved in helping teenagers figure ways around parental involvement laws on abortion last week, Sen. Chambers directly attacked Schmit-Albin and Nebraska Right to Life because the pro-life group refused to endorse Sen. Curt Bromm(R-Wahoo) because he supports destructive embryonic stem-cell research, although he is otherwise pro-life. I

n his accusations on the Senate floor, Chambers accused the legislative body of being "intimidated" by an organization led by a "presumptuous and hateful" leader.

Related Sites:
Nebraska Right to Life –
Nebraska Legislature –
Senator Ernie Chambers –