A roundup of Nebraska and Iowa leaders' reactions to the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe V. Wade

Supreme Court
Posted at 10:37 AM, Jun 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-24 17:23:55-04

Local leaders, politicians, advocates and healthcare professionals are reacting to this morning's U.S. Supreme Court decision that effectively overturns Roe vs. Wade.

Planned Parenthood North Central States Statement


The U.S. Supreme Court today struck down Roe v. Wade, dealing a devastating blow to reproductive freedom. The decision places the future of safe and legal abortion in the hands of state lawmakers and puts abortion access at risk in 26 states.

Abortion remains safe and legal in Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska, and today’s decision will have no impact on patient care in those states. Our doors remain open. Trigger laws will ban abortion in South Dakota and North Dakota. PPNCS paused scheduling abortion appointments in South Dakota, and abortion appointments will not resume. The Sioux Falls health center remains open for birth control, IUD, gender affirming hormone therapy, and other sexual and reproductive health care needs. PPNCS does not operate a health center in North Dakota.

“The U.S. Supreme Court decision is wrong and will harm millions of people,” said Sarah Stoesz, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States. “This decision is an unconscionable rollback of fundamental rights for all people in the United States. Because people’s right to access abortion is no longer guaranteed by federal law, it now depends on where you live and how much money you have to travel out of state for abortion care. Forced pregnancy is a grave violation of human rights and dignity.

“We have been preparing for months to be able to best serve patients across our region. Our doors are open and Planned Parenthood is committed to providing abortion care where it remains legal.

We have a lot of work ahead of us. We are now living through an unmatched moment where our rights to bodily autonomy are being decimated and, therefore, our democracy is being threatened. Now is the time for every person who supports abortion rights to stand up and act.”

Archbishop George J. Lucas Statement

The Supreme Court’s decision in the Dobbs case is a major victory for unborn children, for their mothers and for the cause of justice in our country. Citizens and their elected representatives in each state will now have the opportunity to guarantee the right to life for the child in the womb.

Many in our country will not agree with the reasoning and the decision of the Supreme Court. And some women will still wonder how they can meet the challenge of an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy. This is a moment for each of us to commit to not let any woman face her challenge alone. In the Catholic community, we possess many resources that are well suited to support moms and their children. Mothers and children contribute gifts to our communities that we want to cherish.

For years we have witnessed the help given to women by pregnancy resource centers, homes for pregnant and new moms and various mentoring programs. Catholics sponsor childcare and pre-school programs, St. Vincent de Paul chapters provide food and rent assistance, we operate excellent K-12 schools, along with colleges and universities
willing to provide education support. Catholic Charities hosts a domestic violence shelter, supportive counseling, food pantries and other services.

We can quickly respond to mothers and children who need us, and we can come up with the material resources to make something good happen for them, all while respecting their dignity and being enriched by their hopes. Our parishes will be connecting to a national effort called “Walking with Moms in Need.” We envision that each parish community will be seen as a place of warmth and acceptance where woman can turn in their need. This will require caring parishioners who are acquainted with available services and who are willing to accompany women with respect on their journey to a peaceful and secure life with their children.

As we work to shape just laws in Nebraska to protect the unborn, we must each take up the responsibility to create communities where these children and their parents can flourish.

Nebraska Democrats react to U.S. Supreme Court ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade

Sen.Tony Vargas, candidate for the CD2 seat in Congress:

“Politicians don't belong in doctor's offices making medical decisions. Women should make the decisions that are the best for them with their doctors. Today's ruling by the Supreme Court is a clear threat to Americans’ health, safety, and rights. Governor Ricketts has promised to call the Legislature back into a special session, and when he does I'm ready to keep fighting for Nebraska women and families, alongside Planned Parenthood Action, to ensure their access to reproductive healthcare is protected. And in Congress, just as I have in the Nebraska Legislature, I’ll continue fighting to keep the heavy hand of government out of these important and deeply personal decisions.”

Sen. Carol Blood, candidate for governor:

“Reproductive justice is on the minds of many women here in Nebraska today. The trigger bill that will ultimately follow will cause Nebraskans to live in a police state. We will become a police state where doctors will live in fear when they need to provide necessary patient care. It will endanger the jobs of medical specialists who may be trying to protect a woman's health, disallow women from making decisions on IVF with their doctors never allowing them to experience parenthood, mandate what types of birth control a woman may use instead of allowing the woman and her doctor to make that decision. It will negatively affect our medical students here in Nebraska seeking training in Obstetrics and Gynecology, causing many to not want to train in Nebraska or prevent them from receiving certain certifications to allow for health procedures such as a D&C, often needed after a miscarriage. It's terrifying that we are choosing to not protect the victims of sexual assault, especially our children. I can't comprehend the expectation that a child traumatized by incest will be forced to carry a pregnancy conceived from abuse and then be forced to deal with adult decisions such as potential genetic mutations. This seems heartless and wrong. Why do we have elected officials and candidates wanting to further this trauma? I have grave concerns about the collateral damage we will be creating with these types of decisions that should be between a patient and healthcare provider, a woman and her partner or husband, or a family and their minister or priest.

Patty Pansing Brooks statement

“Today the U.S. Supreme Court made an unconscionable decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, giving the government the seat at our daughters’ exam tables for which many have long coveted," Pansing Brooks said. "A majority of Americans and Nebraskans do not agree that abortion should be illegal. Tuesday’s special election will be our first opportunity to stand up and fight back at the ballot box against this extreme effort to push us back into the Dark Ages. My opponent doesn’t even support exceptions for rape or incest. The contrast and stakes are clear.”

Iowa GOP Statement on the Supreme Court of the United States Overturning Roe v. Wade

Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court of the United States overturning Roe v. Wade:

"This victory at the Supreme Court is indicative of the long hard fight to protect the unborn. Roe was wrongfully decided from the start. States should have always had the power to make laws that protected innocent life.

"The Republican Party of Iowa stands committed to defending the most important freedom we have, the Right to Life. While this decision is a huge victory, the fight to protect the unborn must continue on. For the coming months, Democrats will be relentless in trying to intimidate judges and politicians. We must stand strong."

Sen. Grassley Statement

“Today’s decision recognized that the weak legal reasoning in Roe v. Wade has done more to provoke conflict than to resolve it, as the late Justice Ginsburg observed. In a meticulous and well-reasoned opinion, the court dispensed with a flawed precedent, as it has rightly done in landmark decisions throughout history.

“For many Americans, including myself, this decision is about far more than correcting a flawed legal analysis in Roe; it means that the rights of the unborn are no longer in jeopardy by our federal government. Our nation was founded on the fundamental principle we are endowed by our creator with the unalienable right to life – a right that must be protected.

“This ruling does not ban the practice of abortion but instead empowers the people, through their accountable elected representatives to make commonsense policy decisions. It takes policymaking out of the hands of unelected judges.

“Regardless of your views on this issue, or any other issue for that matter, we all should respect the role of our impartial judiciary and the decisions that it renders. We’re blessed to live in a country where the people play a leading role in how we are governed. The people can advocate for policy priorities in the public square, the halls of Congress and at the ballot box, as so many pro-life Americans have done throughout the past five decades. Seeking to intimidate or attack the court or undermine its credibility because of an outcome that you don’t support is not the answer.”

Sen. Sasse Statement

“America’s work of becoming a more perfect Union is never over, but today – by righting a Constitutional wrong – the Supreme Court took a historic step forward. Roe’s days are over, but the pro-life movement’s work has just begun. This issue will now be debated in the 50 states, and a 330,000,000-person, continental nation will work through this debate in a way that’s healthier than Roe’s one-size-fits-all, Washington-centrism. The pro-life movement is pro-baby, pro-mom, and pro-science. This cause is rooted in love and now is the time to show it. We can’t call this legal victory the end, because our movement has never been primarily about lawsuits and laws – it’s about love and compassion. So let’s celebrate today’s victory and get to work. Let’s support and love all pregnant women. Let’s come alongside them and give the support they need. Let’s support babies regardless of the situations they face and build communities around them that will love and cherish them.

“On a separate note, let’s celebrate the fact that our institutions held. In spite of the doxxing of their homes, violent threats and intimidation, and even a plot to assassinate Justice Kavanaugh, the Court held strong. There is no room for political violence in America – none. Mob violence is un-American, period. President Biden needs to personally and forcefully condemn violence and threats against Supreme Court Justices. Our institutions still work. Let’s keep faith in them.”

Progress Iowa

“No matter your income or where you live, everyone should be able to get the healthcare they need - including abortion. A majority of Americans and a support access t safe and legal abortions. 

“Today’s court ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade not only strips pregnant people of their fundamental rights, but puts them in danger and puts their lives at risk. The impacts of this decision will fall hardest on people who already face discriminatory obstacles to health care — particularly people of color, people with disabilities, people in rural areas, young people, undocumented people, and those having difficulty making ends meet.

“People across the U.S. still need abortion care — but the Supreme Court’s decision is going to embolden anti-abortion politicians to push for the nationwide ban on abortion without exceptions that they’ve wanted all along. This ruling will also have unforeseen and disastrous consequences on our right to privacy.  

“Let’s be clear. Abortion has always existed and will continue to exist. It is pivotal healthcare that cannot be denied. It must not exist only in the shadows. We are calling on our lawmakers to codify Roe v. Wade into law to make sure abortion is safe, legal, and accessible to all.”

Sen. Fischer Statement

“I have always supported pro-life policies that show compassion for women and their unborn children. Both conservative and liberal legal scholars have long questioned the legal reasoning in Roe v. Wade. The justices made the right decision in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Center by affirming that there is no constitutional right to abortion.

“Today’s ruling returns policy making decisions on this issue to state and federal lawmakers. It’s going to take good-faith and empathy to address it.”

ACLU of Iowa Legal Director Rita Bettis Austen

"Despite today's devastating decision from the U.S. Supreme Court, we want to emphasize that abortion remains safe and legal in Iowa. Iowans want to keep it that way, and in the face of this shocking and dangerous decision, we will not give up the fight for abortion rights.

The impact of today's U.S. Supreme Court decision is very frightening for the health, safety, freedom, and equality of Iowans. It removes the federal constitutional protections that, along with state protections, previously prevented Iowa politicians from passing laws that banned abortion altogether ....

The ACLU of Iowa and other reproductive rights allies remain committed to working to ensure that people in Iowa are able to keep access to abortion services. Going forward, it will be more important than ever that Iowans maintain the protections that remain under the Iowa Constitution for abortion rights and work to protect abortion rights through the political process.

We will continue to fight a proposed Iowa Constitutional amendment that would alter the Iowa Constitution to say that there is no right to an abortion in our state at all. In order to take effect, that amendment must be passed a second time by the Iowa Legislature. Then it must be passed by voters, and most likely will be on the ballot in the 2024 election. If passed, that would take away all state constitutional protection for abortion rights that are left remaining after the Iowa Supreme Court decision this year. We must defeat it."

Marion Miner, Associate Director of Pro-Life & Family Policy, Nebraska Catholic Conference

"We are overcome with joy at the arrival of this day, for which we have waited, worked, and prayed for 50 years. Nebraska is once again free to protect preborn babies from the lethal violence of the abortion industry. This is cause for rejoicing and is also a mandate to act. We call upon our state lawmakers, and all people of goodwill, to enact legal protections for these babies from the moment of conception and to ensure that every pregnant woman in our state receives the care and support she needs for herself and her family to flourish. Be assured the Catholic Church in Nebraska will redouble its efforts in the cause for human life."

Rep. Axne Statement

“Today is a tragic day for women and for all Americans. The Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is unconscionable, cruel, and takes the power away from tens of millions of American women to make their own medical decisions. I have seen firsthand how much progress women have made towards equal pay and equal rights in recent years. Because of the Roe decision, women just like me have been able to go to college, build careers, and plan their lives and families on their own terms. It will disproportionately affect the poor, minority communities, and anyone who can’t travel to another state or country to receive lifesaving medical care. This decision takes our country back decades and threatens every American's right to privacy. Put simply, this decision is discriminatory, unfair, upends 50 years of precedent, and goes against the majority opinion of the American people.”

State Sen. Mike Flood

"Today, the Supreme Court has returned abortion-related policy decisions back to the states and the people, where they belong. I am proudly pro-life, and am proud to have sponsored and passed the nation's first Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which banned abortions at 20 weeks, when babies can feel pain. We helped pave the way for this landmark decision.

"Nebraskans agree: we want to protect innocent life and support women in crisis. My opponent supports taxpayer-subsidized abortion and opposes any restriction of abortion—a radical position that is completely out of touch with the voters of Nebraska's 1st Congressional District."

Rep. Adrian Smith

“Life is a miracle that begins at conception. While today’s decision is a win for the pro-life movement, our work does not end here. We must ensure states – which are now rightfully tasked with authority over abortion – have the resources needed to restore a culture that respects and values life by supporting at-risk mothers, fathers, and children.

“I am deeply troubled by the leak of this decision earlier this spring and by the ongoing threats to sitting Supreme Court Justices. Violence is not and will never be the answer. I hope the law-breaking radicals – and the groups encouraging violence – will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Gov. Pete Ricketts

“Roe v. Wade took away the states’ right to regulate abortion and cost millions of babies their lives. Today’s Supreme Court decision restores the rights of the people, and as a result our future generations will have a chance at life. The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe is an answer to millions of prayers on behalf of the unborn and a victory for human life. I will be working with our legislative leaders to determine what more we can do to protect our preborn babies.”

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert

"The Supreme Court ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade will not be the end of the decades-long fight that is important to so many people.

States, including Nebraska, will now consider state laws to ban, restrict or expand access to abortions. I have always believed these decisions should be addressed at the state level with appropriate and clear laws that stipulate any restrictions or exceptions. While this is a tremendously personal and emotional issue, I believe our legislature can address it successfully.

I am proud of my pro-life position and will advocate to further reduce the prevalence of abortion in our state.

We also need to ensure we give equal focus to related matters that are often overlooked when discussing this issue such as adoption, pregnancy counseling, foster care, and expanded health care."

Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird

“Today’s Supreme Court decision prevents women from managing their own destinies, limits their full freedom, and risks their health and lives. Contact your state senators today to urge them to act to protect our freedom.”