Nebraska lawmakers voted Tuesday to advance a pro-life bill to protect unborn babies from brutal dismemberment abortions.
The Dismemberment Abortion Ban (LB 814) introduced by state Sen. Suzanne Geist, of Lincoln, was stuck in committee this spring. But in a 30-8 vote Tuesday, the legislature agreed to move it to the floor for debate, The Omaha World-Herald reports.
“We are grateful to the 30 State Senators who voted to pull LB 814, the Dismemberment Abortion Ban, from the Judiciary Committee to the legislative floor tonight,” said Julie Schmit-Albin. executive director of Nebraska Right to Life. “LB 814’s sponsor, Senator Suzanne Geist, has provided solid leadership to achieve this victory, and we are thankful that the bill will now receive the fair debate it deserves.”
The pro-life bill would prohibit abortion procedures that use clamps, forceps or similar instruments to remove pieces of a living unborn baby from his/her mother’s womb. These abortions typically are referred to as dilation and evacuation, or D&E, and are common in the second trimester when unborn babies are nearly fully developed. The ban does not apply to unborn babies who are already dead.
Doctors who violate the ban would face fines and felony charges.
“How we as a society treat the vulnerable and defenseless is worthy of a hearing, and worthy of our debate,” Geist said.
But one pro-abortion lawmaker promised to use every devious trick up her sleeves to fight against it.
“I’m going to pull every shenanigan out of my sleeve to stop this bill. And that might not be something you like but when you play stupid games, you win stupid prizes,” said state Sen. Megan Hunt.
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Hunt, a pro-abortion Democrat, said she would filibuster the bill, according to a Nebraska NPR affiliate. The legislature needs 33 votes to overcome a filibuster, and the legislative session is nearly over.
Geist said saving unborn babies deserves to be a top priority.
“I believe that discussion of human dignity belongs at the top of that list,” she said. “It’s more important to me than tax credits.”
Gov. Pete Ricketts, a pro-life Republican, agreed that the pro-life legislation is a priority.
Writing at the Hastings Tribune, he said: “The barbaric procedure literally rips apart a preborn child, piece-by-piece, to destroy the life of the baby. This summer, senators can put a stop to this ruthless way of performing an abortion by passing this important bill.”
The state health department reported 32 D&E abortions in 2018.
Dismemberment is a common second-trimester abortion method in which an unborn baby is typically pulled apart limb from limb while their heart is still beating. In the second trimester, unborn babies are nearly fully formed, and strong scientific evidence indicates they can feel pain.
Eleven states have passed laws to ban dismemberment abortions: Ohio, Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Kentucky and North Dakota. However, the abortion industry is challenging many of them in court.