Abortion rights advocates gather at Capitol to express opposition to Nebraska Heartbeat Act

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — As part of Planned Parenthood’s Lobby Day, the organization headed to the State Capitol on Wednesday with a group of abortion rights advocates to talk to state senators

“(We were) telling them why they should oppose LB 626,” said Andi Curry Grubb, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Nebraska. “That we know that this is not what the majority of Nebraskans want, so we want to make sure that the senators are hearing that today from their constituents.” 

LB 626, called the Nebraska Heartbeat Act, is sponsored by State Sen. Joni Albrecht. It would ban abortion after an ultrasound can detect a heartbeat, which happens around six weeks of gestation.

“Access to abortion is a fundamental right that everybody should have,” Curry Grubb said. “We should have the right to make decisions about our own bodies.” 

The organization was joined by people from different parts of the state.

Three friends from Grand Island decided to come together to the Capitol. 

“I’m just so disappointed that we are back now to where medical care would not really be available to people who need it,” Janet Fenton said.

Judy Vohland said, “If you say that you are going to support life, then you have to do it across the whole board.”

Abortion rights advocates say not all of the senators were open to discussion. 

Sen. Steve Halloran from Hastings said he supports the bill.

“I think the vast majority of Nebraskans do support this and respect it,” Halloran said. “There are enough exemptions built into the bill.” 

According to Department of Health and Human Services, about 85% of abortions in Nebraska occur after six weeks. This was one of the reasons that motivated the bill.  

“I think we are relating to people the understanding that it is essential that we protect the unborn once a heartbeat is detected,” Halloran said.

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