Nebraska voters showed their support at the polls for candidates who will protect their sexual and reproductive freedom and expand access to health care, according to Tuesday night election results.
Voters showed up for progress in key legislative races, delivering a clear referendum on Gov. Pete Ricketts and anti-reproductive health legislators. With Jen Day defeating governor appointee Andrew LaGrone, Eliot Bostar winning against the Lt. Governor’s handpicked candidate, Terrell McKinney stepping in to fill Nebraska Sen. Ernie Chambers’ shoes, and Carol Blood’s re-election, health care champions are continuing to build power at the Legislature to fight and defeat health care restrictions and advance health care policies.
The new make-up of the Legislature strengthens the protection of Nebraskans’ rights and access to critical health care. These changes also signal the possibility that there will be a new focus in Lincoln on providing COVID relief, supporting public health, ending police brutality, and dismantling systemic racism, instead of attacking safe, legal abortion.
“This election, Nebraskans took a stand for health care and reproductive freedom, voting out politicians who put their narrow agendas ahead of constituents’ health,” said Andi Curry Grubb, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Nebraska. “Voters know that Gov. Ricketts is focused on his own political interests, not our state’s wellbeing, and that’s why they rejected Ricketts-backed candidates and appointees. We are proud to keep working for a better Nebraska, and these new changes at the Legislature are a strong step forward.
"Every elected official will be important in the fight to preserve Nebraskans’ sexual and reproductive freedoms. With the U.S. Supreme Court potentially taking on key health care issues, our state legislators are the most important champions for protecting Nebraskans’ right to live the lives that we choose.”
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Nebraska expanded their electoral program significantly this cycle to educate voters and elect pro-sexual and reproductive health candidates to the Nebraska legislature. The efforts included 48,000 pieces of mail delivered to voters, digital advertising reaching over 40,000 Nebraskans, and a significant investment in voter outreach and engagement by volunteers who donated more than 1,300 hours of their time. Staff and volunteers used new technology in their effort to get out the vote, allowing the organization to make more than 41,100 contacts with voters by phone and text—a 164 percent increase compared to 2018 election efforts.
“While we have challenges ahead, we made tremendous progress this election, thanks to the dedication of our volunteers and supporters” said Meg Mikolajczyk, Deputy Director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Nebraska. “We saw winning candidates standing proudly in support of sexual and reproductive freedom and health care access. This is in line with the steady trend we have seen in recent years as Nebraskans continue to move toward candidates who believe in a vision of a better Nebraska where we all have health care access and reproductive freedom.”
The confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice has the potential to impact sexual and reproductive heatlh care across the country. There are currently 17 abortion-related cases before the Supreme Court, including a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade.
If Roe is overturned or significantly dismantled, individual states would decide whether or how Americans can access abortion care, possibly sending states back decades. The Supreme Court also could take up cases regarding the Affordable Care Act, same sex marriage and gender equality.