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Two Americas: Governor Ricketts says he encourages Unicameral to protect life of unborn children

Pro-abortion rights organizations say state needs to protect constitutional rights
Posted at 8:54 AM, Nov 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-18 09:54:57-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Governor Ricketts has previously praised Texas for its recently passed abortion legislation that makes the procedure illegal after approximately six weeks of pregnancy.

When asked by 3 News Now if he would like to see similar legislation brought to Nebraska, Governor Ricketts said the state should protect the rights of the unborn.

"Nebraska is a pro-life state with a strong track record of protecting the unborn. I encourage the unicameral to continue pursuing legislation that protects the basic human right to life," Ricketts said in a statement.

Anti-abortion rights organizations, such as the Nebraska Catholic Conference say they're working to bring legislation that would make Nebraska's law stricter. Currently, the law states abortion is legal until 20 weeks into the pregnancy.

"All the options are on the table right now. When people ask, the six-week Texas bill is on our desk, we’re looking at it we’re researching it, among other proposals, so we’ll see what ultimately gets dropped during legislation," Tom Venzor, Executive Director of the Nebraska Catholic Conference said.

But, pro-abortion rights organizations like the ACLU of Nebraska say abortion is a constitutional right and the state should not be making decisions that should be made between a patient, their family and a doctor. ACLU representatives say stricter abortion laws would just create more barriers and not stop abortions.

"With more restrictions comes added costs including travel, taking time off work, childcare and that's if an individual even has those resources. We know these restrictions, time and time again, they harm women of color the most, they harm people with low income and they harm rural women the most," Scout Richters, Legal and Policy Counsel for the ACLU of Nebraska said.

But, anti-abortion rights activists say stricter laws do minimize the number of abortions. They say, legislation though is not the only factor that would stop the procedures, but a cultural change. They add legislation is one part of that change.

Reports from Texas show those seeking abortions have traveled hundreds of miles to other states to get the procedure done.

When asked if he thinks stricter abortion laws would force people to seek them elsewhere, Governor Ricketts said, "Pro-life affirms the intrinsic human dignity of life in the womb. I hope surrounding states will join Nebraska in seeking to strengthen protections for the unborn."

While organizations like Nebraska Catholic Conference are working towards stricter abortion legislation, organizations like the ACLU say they will fight against it.