Amendment revives effort to protect unborn in Nebraska
May 9, 2023
A Nebraska senator has revived the effort to protect the unborn this legislative session, introducing an amendment Monday that would prohibit abortion at 12 weeks gestation.
Blair Sen. Ben Hansen’s AM1658 combines protections for the unborn with protections for minors from gender-altering surgeries, cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers. The amendment will be debated on Tuesday, May 16.
Less than two weeks ago, the pro-life cause in Nebraska took a hit when a bill, LB626, that would prohibit abortion after detection of a fetal heartbeat failed to overcome a filibuster. Sen. Merv Riepe of Ralston, one of two senators who did not vote for or against the measure, had offered an amendment to the Nebraska Heartbeat Act.
State law currently allows abortion until 20 weeks.
In 2020 and 2021, nearly 300 preborn babies were aborted between 12 and 20 weeks each year, according to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
Nebraska Catholic Conference Executive Director Tom Venzor on Monday implored Catholics in the state to tell their senator to support the bill and continue working to end abortion.
“This amendment is not at all what the majority of Nebraskans want for preborn babies or what our preborn brothers and sisters deserve, but this is the best we can accomplish given the Unicameral’s one-vote failure to protect these babies two weeks ago,” Venzor said.
“Remember, if we don’t speak up we will be spoken for. Even though we lost the battle on LB626, we keep pushing forward this session and in future sessions until all preborn lives are protected in law and embraced in love.”
The amendment retains exceptions allowing abortions in cases of rape and incest and where it is deemed medically necessary to save the life of the mother.
Hansen’s amendment also modifies the Let Them Grow Act, LB574, to protect minors from gender-altering surgeries and direct the state to develop rules and regulations for non-surgical interventions such as cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers.