Upholding the Right to Life
By Governor Pete Ricketts
March 22, 2022
Governor’s official photo here.
For decades, the abortion industry has pushed the mantra that abortion is a human right. They’ve tried their best to normalize a culture of death, where the most vulnerable among us have fallen victim to the lie that one person’s so-called right to privacy trumps the right of another to live. The infamous Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade gave false credibility to their movement. But in less than four months, the Supreme Court could finally overturn Roe v. Wade.
There’s never been a more exciting time to be pro-life.
The Supreme Court’s ruling could return the ability to regulate abortion to the states. If they do, Nebraska must be ready to protect the unborn. This week, our Legislature is considering pro-life legislation that will take effect the moment Roe v. Wade is undone.
Senator Joni Albrecht has introduced LB 933, the Human Life Protection Act, which would ban abortion in Nebraska immediately after Roe v. Wade is overturned. Many in our Legislature have recognized its importance. Speaker Mike Hilgers has made it his priority bill, and over 20 additional senators have added their names to LB 933 to show their full support of it. Even so, liberals on the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee (Senators Lathrop, DeBoer, McKinney, Morfeld, and Pansing Brooks) are blocking this bill from being debated on the floor. Liberal state senators unsuccessfully tried the same tactic two years ago, in an attempt to stop Senator Suzanne Geist’s bill to ban the brutal practice of dismemberment abortion (LB 814).
Thankfully, the Nebraska Unicameral has a procedure senators can use to bring a bill to the floor, even when a committee is being uncooperative. It’s called a “pull motion.” The move serves as a check to ensure the will of the people doesn’t fall victim to a minority of legislators. A simple majority vote of the Legislature bypasses the committee vote that’s traditionally needed to move a bill to the floor. There’s past precedent for using a pull motion to pass strong pro-life legislation. In 2020, Senator Geist successfully used a pull motion to bring LB 814 out of committee for debate. That bill eventually passed by a wide margin, and I signed it into law.
This Friday, on the International Day of the Unborn Child, Senator Albrecht will seek to use the pull motion to overcome the Judiciary Committee’s obstruction. Senators will have the historic opportunity to extend protections to every preborn girl and boy in Nebraska. I encourage the Legislature to get LB 933 to my desk this session so that Nebraska can uphold the right to life.
Nebraska is a pro-life state. Our citizens have repeatedly elected representatives who have enacted pro-life laws. Nebraskans support expectant mothers and young parents. They give generously to families in need. They volunteer at crisis pregnancy centers. Despite freezing cold, thousands of Nebraskans take part in the annual Walk for Life every January. They form Life Chains and hold prayer vigils. They display their pro-life convictions on license plates, billboards, and yard signs. In word and deed, Nebraskans are champions for life.
Senators can carry on this tradition in 2022. In addition to LB 933, there are two other pro-life bills in the Legislature this year.
- LB 781: Senator Julie Slama is sponsoring the Heartbeat Act. It requires a physician to perform an ultrasound prior to performing an abortion. If a heartbeat is detected, the bill would make it unlawful for a physician to perform an abortion.
- LB 1086: Senator Suzanne Geist introduced the Chemical Abortion Safety Protocol Act. Senator John Lowe has prioritized the bill, which prohibits physicians from providing any abortion-inducing drug to a woman whose pregnancy is more than forty-nine days of gestational age. And it requires abortion-inducing drugs to be provided by a physician.
In the coming days and weeks, senators will decide the fate of these bills. The stakes couldn’t possibly be higher. I encourage you to contact your state senator to urge them to protect the unborn. You can find their contact information at www.NebraskaLegislature.gov.
If you have questions about my support of pro-life legislation, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 402-471-2244. As Nebraskans, we must do our part to protect every preborn girl and boy.