Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts Wants Abortion Ban: “Affirm the Rights of Preborn Babies”

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 8, 2022   |   3:26PM   |   Lincoln, Nebraska

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts wants his state to ban abortions, saying it needs to “affirm the rights of preborn babies and to support pregnant women, children, and families in need.”

However, not enough members of the Nebraska legislature have come forward saying they will vote for an abortion ban — or even a modest change moving the current 20-week ban up to 12 weeks to at least protect some additional babies’ lives.

Ricketts is not happy that the votes are not present to move forward with a special session to protect more babies.

“It is deeply saddening that only 30 Nebraska state senators are willing to come back to Lincoln this fall in order to protect innocent life. The proposal to change Nebraska’s state law that prohibits abortions starting at 20 weeks and reduce that to 12 weeks is a measured, reasonable step to protect more preborn babies in our state,” he said in a statement today.

He added: “Right now, babies in Nebraska can be aborted up to 20 weeks. At this age, babies are nearly fully formed. They can kick, swallow, hear and respond to sounds outside the womb. They suck their thumbs. They can feel pain. And as medical advancements continue, more and more babies born at this stage can survive premature births and go on to live vibrant lives. Under Nebraska’s current law, these babies can still be killed before they have that chance.”

Legislation in Nebraska needs 33 votes to move ahead thanks to filibusters from pro-abortion Democrats. Ricketts says pro-life Nebraska residents need to work hard to elect more pro-life lawmakers in November.

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“Most of the free world has more reasonable abortion laws than Nebraska. Over 75 percent of countries around the world have placed restrictions on abortion at 12 weeks. Our 20 week abortion ban puts us in line with a narrow ten percent of countries – including countries like North Korea and China – that fail to protect preborn babies.”

“I ask all Nebraskans who are pro-life to look at the list of state senators who signed the letter. If your state senator is on that list, please call or email their office to thank them for their choice to stand with preborn babies. If your state senator is not on the list, please call or email them as well to encourage them to reconsider their decision on this reasonable change to Nebraska’s abortion laws.”

“This letter shows that elections have consequences. In our state, we must work to protect the most vulnerable, and that includes our preborn babies. There’s no more important issue. We cannot achieve equality for all if we silence human beings before they even have a voice.”

In an email to LifeNews, Nebraska Right to Life said it supported the decision to gather more pro-life votes and come back in January to pass the best pro-life law possible.

Nebraska Right to Life stands by the decision of Governor Pete Ricketts to take up the issue of abortion and the protection of women and their children in the upcoming January 2023 Unicameral session.  We stand committed to protect the lives of children, and will continue to do so in the next legislative session.

“Nebraska pro-lifers are disappointed in Senator John Stinner (Dist. #48) and Senator Robert Hilkemann (Dist #4) who voted in favor of LB933 during the 2022 Legislative Session, a bill which would have banned abortion in Nebraska and have now indicated they will not maintain their pro-life commitment to more restrictive measures on abortion during a special session,” said Sandy Danek, Executive Director of Nebraska Right to Life. “We believe that a stand for the protection of life should be unequivocal – not something to be negotiated for political reasons.”

Following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, 14 states have either an abortion ban or heartbeat law actively saving babies from abortions and several other states are fighting in court to protect unborn children, including in Arizona. Nebraska voters will have to work hard this November to join that list.

As LifeNews reported, the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, with a 6-3 majority ruling in the Dobbs case that “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion” — allowing states to ban abortions and protect unborn babies. The high court also ruled 6-3 uphold the Mississippi 15-week abortion ban so states can further limit abortions and to get rid of the false viability standard.

Chief Justice John Roberts technically voted for the judgment but, in his concurring opinion, disagreed with the reasoning and said he wanted to keep abortions legal but with a new standard.

Texas and Oklahoma had banned abortions before Roe was overturned and Missouri became the first state after Roe to protect babies from abortions and South Dakota became the 2nd. Then Arkansas became the third state protecting babies from abortions and Kentucky became the 4th and Louisiana became the 5th and Ohio became the 6th and Utah became the 7th and Oklahoma became the 8th and Alabama became the 9th. This week, Mississippi became the 10th and South Carolina became the 11th,Texas became the 12th with its pre-Roe law and Tennessee became the 13th.

Michigan, Wisconsin and West Virginia have old pro-life laws on the books but there is question about whether they are applicable and will be enforced.

Ultimately, as many as 26 states could immediately or quickly ban abortions and protect babies from certain death for the first time in nearly 50 years.

The 13 total states with trigger laws that would effectively ban all or most abortions are: Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

“Abortion presents a profound moral question. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives,” Alito wrote.

“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences,” Alito wrote. “And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”

Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer authored a joint dissent condemning the decision as enabling states to enact “draconian” restrictions on women.

Polls show Americans are pro-life on abortion and a new national poll shows 75% of Americans essentially agree with the Supreme Court overturning Roe.

Despite false reports that abortion bans would prevent doctors from treating pregnant women for miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies, pro-life doctors confirm that is not the case. Some 35 states have laws making it clear that miscarriage is not abortion and every state with an abortion ban allows treatment for both.