State report indicates lives were saved by 12-week abortion limit

A Nebraska law that limits abortions after 12 weeks of gestation appears to be saving lives.

Abortions in Nebraska were down by almost 9% in 2023, the year lawmakers approved the 12-week limit.

According to statistics released June 28 by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), 2,325 abortions were performed in the state in 2023, a drop from the 2,547 abortions reported in 2022.

Abortions performed in Nebraska on out-of-state residents also declined, from 532 in 2022 to 498 in 2023.

The new abortion protections went into effect when the law was signed by Gov. Jim Pillen on May 22, 2023, nearly five months into the year. So the law’s life-saving results seem even more dramatic when looking at the abortion numbers from the remainder of the year, from June through December.

According to the DHHS report, 1,104 abortions were reported in 2023, down from 1,466 abortions in 2022, a nearly 25% decrease.

“Nebraska’s new 12-week protection law saved the lives of 222 boys and girls in just a few months,” said Marion Miner, associate director of pro-life and family policy for the Nebraska Catholic Conference (NCC). “We are grateful.”

“I hope that we’ll see an even greater drop the next year because it will be in effect the whole year,” he said.

Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen also applauded the decrease in reported abortions.

“This is a tremendous start to ending abortion in Nebraska,” he said in a press release. “The result is more than 220 lives saved which is a victory for our culture of life and love in Nebraska.”

The abortion report indicated a continuing trend toward abortions using a pill combination given to mothers and intended for the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.

More than 80 percent of abortions in Nebraska in 2022 used that method.

“So we have a lot of work to do,” to bring down those numbers, Miner said.

Abortions in Nebraska 2019-2023 by Riley Johnson

Being pro-life also involves “our obligation to those moms and babies and families as we pass public policies that protect the lives of these children,” he said. “We have to be mindful of their welfare and the welfare of their families. That needs to continue to be a focus not only of the Church … but also of the whole community and the public policies that we advance.”

“We’re grateful for the lives that were saved,” Miner said, “and we’re mindful of our duty to those moms and babies and to the ones to come. We’re hoping to do more, both to protect life and to take care of those families.”

The NCC encourages people to become involved with Walking with Moms in Need, a national program of service and prayer.

“We also look forward to new policy advances to protect life and help new mothers and their families overcome life obstacles and truly flourish,” Miner said.


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