Nebraska has a better chance of passing legal protections for unborn babies in 2023 after voters elected more pro-life lawmakers to the state legislature this fall.
The Omaha World-Herald reports both pro-life and pro-abortion lobbying groups expect to see pro-life legislation in the new legislative session.
“It’s not clear that we have the votes we need (to oppose abortion restrictions),” Scout Richters, senior legal and policy council for ACLU of Nebraska, told the newspaper.
This year, Nebraska lawmakers narrowly failed to pass an abortion ban, thwarted by a filibuster that requires a two-thirds majority vote to overcome. In November, however, voters elected more pro-life Republicans to the state legislature, and there are a few pro-life Democrats serving, too, according to the report.
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Sandy Danek, executive director of Nebraska Right to Life, said they hope lawmakers will increase support for pregnant and parenting mothers as well as ban the killing of unborn babies in abortions.
“Whether that’s going to go, I don’t know,” Danek told the newspaper. “However we are hopeful the legislature will seriously look at support for these women in need.”
Potential pro-life bills could include a 12-week abortion limit, a total abortion ban or a heartbeat bill, which prohibits abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks. Gov.-elect Jim Pillen, a pro-life Republican, has said he would support an abortion ban.
Here’s more from the report:
[Danek] confirmed negotiations are ongoing about what anti-abortion legislation has the best chance at passing. She declined to give specifics, but said she understands why some lawmakers might be more cautious on the subject due to the change in national temperature. …
Danek said Nebraska Right to Life will not support any legislation that would interfere with access to contraception or in vitro fertilization, which was a big part of the opposition against the trigger bill.
Richters said the ACLU will oppose any abortion restrictions.
Currently, Nebraska allows unborn babies to be aborted for any reason up to 20 weeks. However, some cities have passed ordinances that ban abortions at the local level, including Wallace, Hershey, Brady, Paxton and Arnold.
Because the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, 14 states now are enforcing pro-life laws that prohibit or strictly limit the killing of unborn babies in abortions, and eight others are fighting in court to do the same.
New research estimates up to 10,000 unborn babies already have been saved from abortion since these laws went into effect this summer, and hundreds of thousands more are expected to be saved from death in the coming years.