The votes to restrict abortion even more than it is already — or to ban it entirely — are not there in the state’s single-house legislature.
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) on Monday reversed his plan to call a special session of the state legislature to pass a 12-week abortion ban after an insufficient number of lawmakers indicated they would support such a measure.
Ricketts had vowed to call the special session after the draft Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade leaked, but the governor said on Monday, months after the actual decision dropped, that he had received a letter from the state speaker revealing a vote would not have the 33 state senators needed for passage.
“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 governor said in a statement, which comes less than a week after voters in neighboring Kansas rejected a ballot initiative that would have allowed its lawmakers to restrict abortion.
“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,” Ricketts added.
After the Supreme Court earlier this summer overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, rejecting a constitutional right to abortion, red states saw a flurry of activity seeking to restrict the procedure.
Some states had previously passed so-called trigger laws that automatically implemented abortion restrictions following the court’s ruling, while Republican leaders in other states, like Nebraska, promised to call special legislative sessions to quickly pass new restrictions.
“I ask all Nebraskans who are pro-life to look at the list of state senators who signed the letter,” Ricketts said, urging residents to call their lawmakers.
This is why local elections matter so much.
Just three more votes in the opposite direction and the state would ban abortions outright with no exceptions for rape, incest or the life of the mother.
Ricketts, who comes from the family made rich by TD Ameritrade and the Chicago Cubs (the latter they still own) is particularly energized by opposing abortion, as is much of his family.
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