A sign displayed by pro-life supporters during the 49th annual March for Life, Jan. 21, 2022, in Washington, D.C., expresses the hopes of the pro-life movement for the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Commentary

Faithful, Watchful Citizens: Down to the wire

First things first. If you have not yet contacted your state senator about LB933, the Human Life Protection Act, which would protect preborn babies from the moment of conception once Roe v. Wade is overturned (hopefully this summer), please do it now. 

You can do so by texting the word LIFE to the phone number 50457. 

After texting this number, you will receive a text message response with a link that will take you to the Nebraska Catholic Conference’s online advocacy center where you can tell your state senator that it is time that Nebraska abandon abortion by fully valuing the life of each and every human being. You can find our advocacy center by visiting www.NEcatholic.org and clicking on the yellow banner. 

The Legislature is currently debating this historic, pro-life bill, so there is no better time to act than now! The innocent preborn cannot make their own voice heard, so it is our responsibility to be their voice. 

Even if you know your senator supports the bill, simply let them know you support their decision and are praying for them. And if you already know they oppose the bill, charitably and respectfully ask them to closely listen to debate and be open to changing their mind on this fundamental life issue. If you have no idea where they stand, let them know why this bill is important to you and ask them where they stand on protecting preborn babies.

If you have any questions or want help contacting your senator, call our office at 402.477.7517 and we’d be happy to help you out.

With that said, the Nebraska Legislature is coming down to the wire with the session ending April 20, or possibly earlier.

These final days will be jam packed with many late-night floor debates as senators contend with an array of legislative bills, ranging from simple fixes to the law to the most socially contentious issues. The Legislature will be dealing with the appropriation of $1 billion in pandemic relief funds, emergency rental assistance, school choice, food access to former drug felons, tax reform, religious liberty, several different K-12 education matters, criminal justice reform and prison overcrowding, and protections for victims of human sex trafficking, among numerous other important topics.

Given the few days remaining and the many bills left to debate, it is highly unlikely that the Legislature will have an opportunity to debate or pass every priority bill that was introduced by state senators. For some, this is exactly how government should function. For others, this will be a thoroughgoing disappointment.

As these remaining days dwindle down, if I could suggest one more action item, in addition to the very first one listed above, I would encourage you to take a moment and simply pray for the state Legislature. While this is the “short” session, it has felt much longer than a “short” session. It is one that has been filled to the brim with lots of hard work and its fair share of hardships. Pray that the Legislature will end its session on a high note and that senators will treat one another with charity in these remaining days. 

I would even challenge you to write your senator and simply tell them: “I’m praying for you. Thanks for your service!” You don’t have to agree with them on any issue at all to tell them you are praying for them. It’s a simple act of charity on our part, and it is what St. Paul has called us to do as Christians: “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way.”

In these last days of the legislative session, there will likely be important advocacy items remaining. If you haven’t yet, join our Catholic Advocacy Network of Nebraska (CANN) at www.NEcatholic.org. Together we can bear the Light of Christ in the public square!

Tom Venzor is executive director of the Nebraska Catholic Conference. Email him at tvenzor@necatholic.org.