Nebraska officials react to Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Nebraska officials are reacting to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade on Friday.

See also: In a historic decision, Supreme Court overturns Roe. v. Wade after 50 years

The court also ruled 6-3 on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Mississippi law that bans all abortions past 15 weeks, with very few medical exceptions.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said in a statement that Roe v. Wade cost millions of babies their lives.

“Roe v. Wade took away the states’ right to regulate abortion and cost millions of babies their lives. Today’s Supreme Court decision restores the rights of the people, and as a result our future generations will have a chance at life. The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe is an answer to millions of prayers on behalf of the unborn and a victory for human life.  I will be working with our legislative leaders to determine what more we can do to protect our preborn babies,” Ricketts said.

Back in May, Speaker of the House Mike Hilgers said that he would work with Ricketts to schedule a special legislative session if Roe v. Wade was overturned.

See also: In Nebraska, both sides brace for abortion battle after Supreme Court leak

Governor candidate Jim Pillen voiced his opinion on the decision saying that he will do all he can to ensure that no more unborn babies are killed.

“Nebraska is a pro-life state because our citizens understand that life is the most precious gift of God’s grace,” Pillen said in a press release.  “Today, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed what we have long known to be true: Our constitution contains no right to murder an unborn child. I will do all I can to ensure that no more unborn babies are killed.”

Pillen’s opponent in the state governor race, Sen. Carol Blood, also released a statement on the court’s decision.

“Reproductive justice is on the minds of many women here in Nebraska today. The trigger bill that will ultimately follow will cause Nebraskans to live in a police state. We will become a police state where doctors will live in fear when they need to provide necessary patient care. It will endanger the jobs of medical specialists who may be trying to protect a woman’s health, disallow women from making decisions on IVF with their doctors never allowing them to experience parenthood, mandate what types of birth control a woman may use instead of allowing the woman and her doctor to make that decision. It will negatively affect our medical students here in Nebraska seeking training in Obstetrics and Gynecology, causing many to not want to train in Nebraska or prevent them from receiving certain certifications to allow for health procedures such as a D&C, often needed after a miscarriage. It’s terrifying that we are choosing to not protect the victims of sexual assault, especially our children. I can’t comprehend the expectation that a child traumatized by incest will be forced to carry a pregnancy conceived from abuse and then be forced to deal with adult decisions such as potential genetic mutations. This seems heartless and wrong. Why do we have elected officials and candidates wanting to further this trauma? I have grave concerns about the collateral damage we will be creating with these types of decisions that should be between a patient and healthcare provider, a woman and her partner or husband, or a family and their minister or priest,” Blood said. 

Sen. Mike Flood, a candidate in the upcoming special election to fill the vacant 1st Congressional District seat, gave a statement on the Dobb’s v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision.

“Today, the Supreme Court has returned abortion-related policy decisions back to the states and the people, where they belong. I am proudly pro-life, and am proud to have sponsored and passed the nation’s first Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which banned abortions at 20 weeks, when babies can feel pain. We helped pave the way for this landmark decision. Nebraskans agree: we want to protect innocent life and support women in crisis. My opponent supports taxpayer-subsidized abortion and opposes any restriction of abortion—a radical position that is completely out of touch with the voters of Nebraska’s 1st Congressional District,” Flood said. 

Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks, who is also running for the 1st Congressional District seat called the court’s decision “unconscionable.”

“Today the U.S. Supreme Court made an unconscionable decisioin to overturn Roe v. Wade, giving the government the seat at our daughters’ exam tables for which many have long coveted. A majority of Americans and Nebraskans do not agree that abortion should be illegal. Tuesday’s special eleciton will be our first oppurunity to stand up and fight back at the ballot box against this extreme effort to push us back into the Dark Ages. My oppenone doesn’t even support exceptions for rape or incest. The contrast and stakes are clear,” Pansing Brooks said in a statement.

Sen. Ben Sasse said that the Supreme Court’s decision is a “historic step forward.”

“America’s work of becoming a more perfect Union is never over, but today – by righting a Constitutional wrong – the Supreme Court took a historic step forward. Roe’s days are over, but the pro-life movement’s work has just begun. This issue will now be debated in the 50 states, and a 330,000,000-person, continental nation will work through this debate in a way that’s healthier than Roe’s one-size-fits-all, Washington-centrism. The pro-life movement is pro-baby, pro-mom, and pro-science. This cause is rooted in love and now is the time to show it. We can’t call this legal victory the end, because our movement has never been primarily about lawsuits and laws – it’s about love and compassion. So let’s celebrate today’s victory and get to work. Let’s support and love all pregnant women. Let’s come alongside them and give the support they need. Let’s support babies regardless of the situations they face and build communities around them that will love and cherish them,” Sasse said in a statement. 

Scout Richters of the American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska said that Nebraskans should be free to make the right decisions for themselves and their families.

“Most Nebraskans support keeping abortion legal in our state because they understand no one should be forced to carry a pregnancy against their will or face the life-altering consequences of being denied abortion care. This race to take away people’s rights is dangerous and dystopian — and we will do everything we can to stop it. The impacts of pushing abortion out of reach would fall disproportionately on the same people who have always faced systemic barriers to care: Nebraskans of color, LGBTQ+ Nebraskans, undocumented Nebraskans, young Nebraskans, Nebraskans living in rural communities, Nebraskans with disabilities and Nebraskans with low incomes. All Nebraskans must remain free to make the right decisions for themselves and their families. Now, more than ever, is the time to contact your state senator and demand they respect our reproductive rightsm” Richters said.

The Planned Parent North Central States division released a statement reminding people that their doors will remain open, as abortion remains legal in Nebraska.

“The U.S. Supreme Court decision is wrong and will harm millions of people. This decision is an unconscionable rollback of fundamental rights for all people in the United States. Because people’s right to access abortion is no longer guaranteed by federal law, it now depends on where you live and how much money you have to travel out of state for abortion care. Forced pregnancy is a grave violation of human rights and dignity. We have been preparing for months to be able to best serve patients across our region. Our doors are open and Planned Parenthood is committed to providing abortion care where it remains legal. We have a lot of work ahead of us. We are now living through an unmatched moment where our rights to bodily autonomy are being decimated and, therefore, our democracy is being threatened. Now is the time for every person who supports abortion rights to stand up and act,” said Sarah Stoesz, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States.

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