Nebraska won't hold special legislative session on abortion
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has announced he will not call a special session of the Legislature to try to enact an abortion ban because the measure doesn’t have enough votes to break a filibuster.
He said in a statement Monday that he had nixed plans for a special session after learning from Speaker of the Legislature Mike Hilgers that only 30 lawmakers would support a proposal to ban abortions starting at 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Thirty-three votes are needed to break a filibuster.
Full Statement From Governor Ricketts
“It is deeply saddening that only 30 Nebraska state senators are willing to come back to Lincoln this fall in order to protect innocent life. The proposal to change Nebraska’s state law that prohibits abortions starting at 20 weeks and reduce that to 12 weeks is a measured, reasonable step to protect more preborn babies in our state.”
“Right now, babies in Nebraska can be aborted up to 20 weeks. At this age, babies are nearly fully formed. They can kick, swallow, hear and respond to sounds outside the womb. They suck their thumbs. They can feel pain. And as medical advancements continue, more and more babies born at this stage can survive premature births and go on to live vibrant lives. Under Nebraska's current law, these babies can still be killed before they have that chance.”
“Most of the free world has more reasonable abortion laws than Nebraska. Over 75 percent of countries around the world have placed restrictions on abortion at 12 weeks. Our 20 week abortion ban puts us in line with a narrow ten percent of countries – including countries like North Korea and China – that fail to protect preborn babies.”
“I ask all Nebraskans who are pro-life to look at the list of state senators who signed the letter. If your state senator is on that list, please call or email their office to thank them for their choice to stand with preborn babies. If your state senator is not on the list, please call or email them as well to encourage them to reconsider their decision on this reasonable change to Nebraska’s abortion laws.”
“This letter shows that elections have consequences. In our state, we must work to protect the most vulnerable, and that includes our preborn babies. There’s no more important issue. We cannot achieve equality for all if we silence human beings before they even have a voice.”
“The senators’ letter shows we don’t have the 33 votes needed to pass legislation to protect more preborn babies. For this reason, I will not be calling a special session. Nebraskans need to have more conversations on the value we place on human life so more meaningful protections can be passed in our state.”
“As Governor, I will continue doing whatever I can in my power to affirm the rights of preborn babies and to support pregnant women, children, and families in need.”