OMAHA, NEBRASKA—Nebraska politicians who want to outlaw abortions today revived LB 933, which would ban all abortions in the absence of federal protections, setting it up for debate and a vote on the ban in the coming weeks.
Nebraska State Sen. Joni Albrecht filed a motion last week to pull the bill out of committee and onto the floor for a vote, after the Judiciary Committee voted against advancing the measure. Commonly called a “trigger law,” the bill was one of three abortion bans voted down by the committee. Today’s vote only kept the measure alive. The ban itself will be debated and voted on in the coming weeks.
“Today’s vote to pull this extreme bill that would ban abortion in Nebraska and bring it to a floor vote is nothing more than lawmakers circumventing the Judicial Committee’s decision,” said Andi Curry Grubb, Executive Director for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Nebraska. “No matter our personal beliefs, we can all agree that Nebraskans deserve the right to make what should be private medical decisions about when and how to start a family. This dangerous legislation puts Nebraskans’ health at risk and will impact generations to come. It’s imperative that we call our state senators and tell them to vote no on this reckless abortion ban.”
The trigger ban comes during a time of national uncertainty around federal abortion protections. The U.S. Supreme Court in December heard oral arguments regarding a Mississippi15-week ban. This case directly challenges the protections established by Roe v. Wade almost 50 years ago and a ruling is expected this summer. Many anticipate the court to overrule or gut Roe v. Wade, which would immediately spark abortion bans like the one proposed in LB933. The Court has also declined to intervene in a Texas six-week ban that places enforcement in the hands of private citizens.
If the Court erodes or eliminates the federal right to abortion, Nebraska’s 49 state senators would decide the future of abortion access. Abortion in Nebraska is already highly restricted by laws that place burdensome, medically unnecessary requirements on patients and providers. The Guttmacher Institute categorizes the state as hostile to reproductive rights.