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Nebraska lawmakers seek to restrict abortion in the state as U.S. awaits Supreme Court ruling

'It’s effectively banning all abortions'
Posted at 6:30 PM, Jan 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-21 20:11:41-05

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — Anti-abortion lawmakers are pushing an aggressive series of abortion restrictions that, if passed, would dramatically change the laws in Nebraska.

Three major abortion bills were introduced this session; coming as the nation awaits the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on a potential landmark case out of Mississippi, in which Roe vs. Wade could be overturned.

“This is a reflection of the desire of a lot of people in the state of Nebraska, I think the vast majority of the state of Nebraska, to see something done and to take advantage of the opportunity which has been presented by us,” said Marion Miner, Associate Director for Pro Life & Family Policy at the Nebraska Catholic Conference.

The bills include strict regulations for abortions by taking an oral pill and what’s known as a trigger bill, that if the U.S. Supreme Court completely reverses Roe vs. Wade — which legalized abortion nationwide — Nebraska would outright ban it.

“(It) is potentially the most consequential if Roe vs Wade is overturned,” said Miner.

Another bill from Senator Julie Slama would ban abortions after a heartbeat is detected, which is typically six weeks into pregnancy.

“That truly is, one of the most obvious signs of life that a pre-born baby can have,” said Slama.

This is getting pushback from senators for abortion rights as well as Planned Parenthood.

Andi Curry Grubb, who leads Planned Parenthood in Nebraska, says many women are unaware they are pregnant before that six-week period.

“The limits placed on abortion access in this bill are so onerous that most people are never going to access abortion. It’s effectively banning all abortions without saying that’s what we plan to do,” said Curry Grubb.

The votes to pass these bills could be there. The Unicameral has passed several bills restricting abortion over the past few years, with several Democratic lawmakers voting yes.

With a limited 60 day session in Lincoln, Curry Grubb says the best way to fight is to filibuster the bills; taking as much time up as possible on the abortion bills, so as to leave little time for bills other senators seek on taxes, criminal justice and education reform.

“If they want to spend all their time up on abortion, at expense of all the other things, that's what they’d be doing by supporting this bill,” said Curry Grubb.

All three of the abortion bills do not give provisions that an abortion could be performed in the instance of sexual assault or incest. Senator Megan Hunt has already filed amendments on all three in order to change that, ensuring a woman has a right to abortion in those cases.

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