Nebraska legislature reports that 62% of public comments on the abortion ban bill are against it
Note: Please see a recent update in AP style, which avoids the use of “fetal heartbeat” bill since this legislation addresses neither a fetus (it’s still an embryo) nor a heartbeat (it hasn’t yet developed a heart).
Lincoln, Nebraska—Nebraska lawmakers today heard the testimony of Nebraskans, who turned up in droves to speak out against a proposed near total ban on abortion. The bill, LB 626, bans abortion at about six weeks of pregnancy, before most people know they are pregnant.
More than 200 people showed up to testify at the seven hour hearing, with only roughly half having the opportunity. Dozens of Nebraskans, a majority doctors, spoke out against the measure, which also strips doctors of their medical licenses if they perform an abortion after about six weeks or without an ultrasound.
Lawmakers who want to outlaw abortion in Nebraska are pushing the bill, despite a growing majority of Nebraskans who support keeping abortion safe and legal. More than 2,300 comments were submitted on the bill prior to the hearing, 62% of which were against the near total abortion ban.
“Nebraskans continue to make it clear—they want to keep abortion safe and legal,” said Andi Curry Grubb, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Nebraska. “The proposed near total abortion ban goes way too far. It will hurt Nebraskans, doctors, families and our entire state. No one should make deeply personal reproductive medical decisions for someone else, especially not politicians. Each person’s circumstances are different, and every pregnancy is unique. Banning abortion denies a person the fundamental right to control their own body and health care decisions. The goal of abortion bans is to take away people’s power over their lives and futures.”
This legislative session is the first since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. While there are more reproductive rights champions in the legislature than ever before, any vote on this measure will be razor thin.
A growing majority of Nebraskans support safe and legal abortion. Fifty-nine percent of Nebraskans do not want any further restrictions on abortion in Nebraska and oppose abortion bans, which is a 23-percentage point difference compared to those who want abortion banned.
“Frankly, neither the circumstances of my abortion and my personal and professional accomplishments are none of your business,” said Kacie Ware, an abortion patient and advocate in Omaha who testified Wednesday. “The decision to get an abortion is a private one that a person makes, with the assistance of her doctor and only the people in their lives that they choose to discuss the matter with. Today, you have heard about abortion stories surrounded by tragedy. Stories of wanted babies who would never survive. Stories wrapped up in incest and abuse like mine. But I am fearful that you will vote the party line and not consider the deep impacts that this bill will have on Nebraska families.”
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Nebraska is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization. As the advocacy and electoral arm of PPNCS, we mobilize supporters of all parties to defend and increase access to family planning services and fact based, medically accurate sexuality education. We work to inspire and engage citizens to take up the cause of reproductive health and rights through education, electoral activity, grassroots organizing and legislative advocacy.