Reproductive Rights in Nebraska
On June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case. The League of Women Voters has a long history of supporting women’s reproductive rights (see page 56 of Impact on Issues) and at our recent convention, reaffirmed by passing a resolution stating:
Be it resolved that the LWVUS, supports the rights of women and those who can become pregnant to self-determination related to, and including, but not limited to bodily autonomy, privacy, reproductive health, and lifestyle choice to bodily autonomy.
On August 9, 2022 Nebraska, Governor Pete Ricketts and Speaker Mike Hilgers announced they did not have the votes to call a special session. We expect that legislation to restrict abortion will be taken up in the legislative session that begins in Jan Mary.
The League of Women Voters of Nebraska will oppose restrictions on the reproductive rights of women and those who can become pregnant. We are calling on our members and the Nebraska community at large to contact their state senators to tell them that the state of Nebraska should not interfere with the decision of a woman in consultation with her doctor, family and religious adviser. Below you will find information that will help you stay informed and take action.
With the potential for a special legislative session specifically for the purpose to push legislation that restricts reproductive rights in the state of Nebraska, now is the time to make your voice heard.
- Contact your state senator. Call or email your state senator and let them know of your opposition to restricting the abilities of women, pregnant people and physicians to discuss and make their own health decisions. Visit this page to confirm who your state senator is along with their contact information.
- Craft your message. Visit the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Nebraska’s guide on taking action guidance.
- Reach out to Governor Ricketts and Speaker Hilgers. In addition to contacting your state senator, please let the our state leaders know where you stand on reproductive rights: Here are links to the governor’s contact information and the speaker’s contact information.
- Stay up to date. Join our reproductive justice information list to receive real time updates and action items during the special session. Please email email@example.com to be added for timely updates and action alerts.
- Elevate the conversation. Use social media to help get the word out by posting, sharing, liking and retweeting. Follow your legislator, the League and other organizations fighting for reproductive justice such as Planned Parenthood Advocates of Nebraska, I Be Black Girl, Women’s Fund of Omaha and the ACLU.
- Spread the word. Talk to colleagues, family and friends about the issue and encourage them to contact their legislator.
Current Law and Recent Legislation
The current state laws regarding abortion include mandatory counseling, a 24-hour wait period, parent consent for a minor, and no abortions performed at or after 20 weeks postfertilization except in the case of life endangerment or severely compromised health. During the last regular legislative session, several bills related to abortion were introduced. Of the many bills, LB 933 – Adopt the Nebraska Human Life Protection Act, was moved out of committee to full floor debate but failed to receive enough votes for cloture and therefore advance. Similar to many other “trigger” bills across the country, LB 933 would have outlawed all termination of a pregnancy after fertilization with no exceptions. Upon the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, the law would have gone into effect immediately and care providers who provide these services would be have been charged with a Class IIA felony.
Record of Nebraska State Senators’ Stances
How did your senator vote last spring? A “no” vote is in support of a woman’s right to choose; a “yes” vote is in support of the elimination of a woman’s right to choose in Nebraska.
A challenge for antiabortion states: Doctors reluctant to work there – Omaha Methodist Hospital maternal fetal specialist Dr. Emily Patel quoted.