Speaker Hilgers now pursuing 12-week abortion ban in Nebraska, according to Sen. Hunt

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — Nebraska may be moving away from a proposed total abortion ban.

State Sen. Megan Hunt said on social media late Wednesday night that Speaker of Legislature Mike Hilgers is currently calling each member to ask if they will sign a letter to support a special session for a 12-week abortion ban.

Those in favor of that proposal said they are grateful to see small changes in Nebraska’s abortion law as they come, noting that overturning Roe v. Wade took over half a century.

“Our greatest successes, over the last almost 50 years of fighting Roe v. Wade, has been an incremental approach,” Sandy Danek, executive director of Nebraska Right to Life, said. “That incremental approach is what has brought us now to this point of seeing the reversal of what we felt was bad law. So anything that we can accomplish that saves lives, we’re very supportive of.”

Right now, abortion in Nebraska is legal up to the 22nd week of pregnancy.

Some organizations are not ruling out the possibility that a total ban is voted on again.

“The support that we have had for the pro-life cause has never wavered in that 50 years,” Danek said. “We don’t expect it to waver now. We expect it to continue and grow. And we will be there providing the education and the life-affirming alternatives.”

A trigger bill that would have eventually banned all abortions in Nebraska failed to pass during the last legislative session, coming up just two votes short of the 33 needed to overcome a filibuster.

All of this has abortion right supporters on edge.

“If this session does convene, and a special session is called, we are really concerned that they are working towards a 12-week abortion ban,” said Sara Steinkruger of No Forced Birth Nebraska. “We feel that there should be no compromise on what is legal and not legal concerning abortion.”

There’s been growing concern from abortion rights supporters that they may not be able to block a future ban from becoming law.

“To convene a special session, this would cost the state’s taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars,” Steinkruger said. “We’re also questioning why this would be happening when the legislative session is supposed to reconvene in about four months, after the November election.”

The 12-week proposal is a significant change from what Gov. Pete Ricketts was calling for when discussing a special session this past spring.

He wanted all abortions to be banned, including in cases involving rape and incest.

Ricketts said, “They’re still babies, too,” when speaking with CNN in May.

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