Abortion rights supporters in Nebraska vow to take fight to ballot box if needed
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Members of Save IVF Nebraska have revealed that a ballot initiative aimed at keeping abortion legal in our state is in the works.
They say Nebraskans can’t leave it up to the Legislature to protect a woman’s right to choose, given the midterm election results.
But while the Nebraska Republican Party is celebrating what could become a filibuster-proof majority, the Nebraska Democratic Party is saying not so fast.
Jane Kleeb, chair of the NDP, said Democrats could still get the 17 seats needed to block a Republican-driven abortion bill.
“We do believe that we’ll be able to hold the line on abortion rights,” she said. “It will obviously mean a lot of negotiating, even with some of our pro-life Democrats here in the Legislature, but we’re confident that Nebraskans want to see abortion rights preserved and don’t want to have politicians in the doctor’s room for women.”
Kleeb said bills tightening abortion restrictions could be introduced as soon as January, so now is the time to engage.
“We want to make sure that our daughters and our granddaughters don’t have less rights than we do today,” she said.
During the last legislative session, Democrats stopped a bill that would have banned all abortions in Nebraska.
As of now, the procedure is illegal or heavily restricted in at least 14 states, according to the Guttmacher Institute and Center for Reproductive Rights.
Another eight states have laws in place that pave the way to eventually ban or severely restrict access, Guttmacher reported.
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Nebraska says it’s run its largest election program in history to make sure that doesn’t happen here.
They say hundreds of Nebraskans have signed up to volunteer with the organization since Roe v. Wade was overturned with a clear goal: no bans ever.
Scout Richters, senior legal and policy counsel of the American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska, said her organization and the Nebraskans for Abortion Access Coalition are dedicated to using all the tools they have to keep abortion legal.
“Whether that be in stopping a ban at the Legislature or at the ballot box or in the courts, we’re committed to exploring all of our options,” she said.
Richters said people should be making their voices heard now, before state senators begin introducing new bills.
Kleeb agreed that Nebraskans should engage by contacting their senators and letting them know how they feel.
“It’s critical for folks across the state, whether you’re Republican or Democrat, to really honor the tradition of the nonpartisan Unicameral,” she said. “They are not in the Unicameral to represent themselves; they’re there to represent the Nebraskans in their district.”