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PPAN Board Testimony

Re: Testimony in support of LR20CA

Dear Chairperson Lathrop and members of the Judiciary Committee,

We are board members for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Nebraska (“PPAN”), the 501(c)(4) advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood North Central States in Nebraska. Our organization mobilizes supporters of all parties to protect, promote, and expand access to sexual and reproductive health care, rights, and education. We also support social justice partners across intersecting issues that impact Planned Parenthood patients, such as immigration and voting rights. We do our work in the community, under the dome, and at the ballot box.

One of PPAN’s core values is to show up and support those issues impacting the communities Planned Parenthood serves, which includes prioritizing LGBTQ+ equity. According to the Movement Advancement Project1 and the Williams Project from UCLA, there are approximately 67,000 LGBTQ+ individuals over the age of 13 living in Nebraska. They deserve to have their rights, as affirmed by the United States Supreme Court nearly six years ago, reflected in the highest law of Nebraska. The state constitution must strip reference to discriminatory language. LR20CA does that.

As a board, we recognize that striking the marriage ban from the state constitution is only one step forward in the necessary work Nebraska must undertake to truly make our state an equitable place for LGBTQ+ people to live, work, and raise their families. This board and organization is grateful to Senator Pansing Brooks for her leadership on these issues. We ask that the committee advance LR20CA to general file to be considered by the entire Legislature. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Nebraska Board
Tracy Hightower-Henne, Randy Moody, Dan Gilbert,
Jill Brown, Kathy Thuman, Brian Jorde,
Kamryn Sannicks, Jeanne Neumann-Glasford, Judy Vohland,
Christa Yoakum, Jenny Doyle, Kristen Windle
 

Deputy Director Meg Mikolajczyk Testimony

Re: Testimony in support of LR20CA

Dear Chairperson Lathrop and members of the Judiciary Committee,

My name is Meg Mikolajczyk, and I am the Deputy Director and Legal Counsel for Planned Parenthood North Central States in Nebraska. Central to our mission at Planned Parenthood is the conviction that all people deserve to live in communities where sexual and reproductive rights are recognized for what they are—basic human rights. All people, regardless of who they are or who they love, deserve to lead safe, healthy, and meaningful lives.

Planned Parenthood is committed to fighting for the bodily autonomy of our patients and our friends and neighbors across Nebraska. Part of this effort includes voicing support for policies that remove harmful and oppressive language from the state’s constitution, such as the requirement that only one man and one woman be able to enter into marriage. Planned Parenthood proudly supports Senator Pansing Brooks’ proposed constitutional amendment, as well as her tireless advocacy to make Nebraska truly live up to its motto—equality before the law.

Planned Parenthood is a trusted health care provider for the LGBTQ+ community because we offer compassionate, nonjudgmental care to all of our patients. No matter what. At Planned Parenthood, we know that the LGBTQ+ community faces higher rates of discrimination in our state, including external efforts to try to fundamentally change or deny who these folks are. Nebraska seeks to be the “good life”, and by removing this outdated, discriminatory language from the state’s constitution, the state can move one step closer to truly being a place all Nebraskans can safely call home.

LR20CA is an important step forward for Nebraska. Thank you, Senator Pansing Brooks, for standing up for all Nebraskans. We ask the committee to please support all families by supporting this bill out of committee so the Legislature can remove language made unconstitutional and antiquated under the United States Supreme Court decision Obergefell v Hodges.2

Respectfully,

Meg Mikolajczyk
Deputy Director - NE
Planned Parenthood North Central States

 


1 https://www.lgbtmap.org/equality-maps/profile_state/NE; LGBT People in the US not Protected by State Anti-Discrimination Statutes, Conron, Kerith J. and Shoshana K. Goldberg, April 2020, https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/LGBT-ND-Protections-Update-Apr-2020.pdf

2576 US 644 (2015)

Tags: testimony

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