Nebraska Governor Will Push For Total Abortion Ban If Roe V. Wade Is Overturned
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Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) told CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday he hopes to work with the state’s GOP-dominated legislature to pass a statewide abortion ban—without exceptions for rape or incest—if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, possibly joining several other states slated to ban abortion if the Supreme Court allows them to do so.

Key Facts

If the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision is overturned, Ricketts intends to call a special session of the state legislature to pass an abortion ban, he told CNN’s State of the Union anchor Dana Bash.

Ricketts’ remarks came one month after an abortion “trigger law”—which would have automatically banned abortion if Roe is reversed—failed in Nebraska’s legislature by a vote of 31-15, two votes short of the 33-vote minimum to overcome a filibuster.

The bill was subject to eight hours of debate, during which Democratic lawmakers argued the law infringed on womens’ bodily autonomy by banning abortion in practically all instances, the Nebraska Examiner reported.

Asked if he would support legislation banning abortion even in cases of rape or incest, Ricketts replied on CNN, “They’re still babies, too, yes—they’re still babies.”

Ricketts said Nebraska Republicans were “hopeful” Roe v. Wade will be overturned, but that they would have to wait before taking further steps.

Key Background

Almost two weeks ago, Politico published a leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, which holds that a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion is constitutionally protected. Thirteen states passed “trigger laws” that would immediately ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is ended, while 16 states have passed laws that would protect abortion rights, according to the pro-abortion-rights Guttmacher Institute. Publication of the draft opinion—which Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed is authentic but isn’t necessarily final—has led to renewed debate around abortion rights, which would largely return to the hands of state leaders in the absence of a national law protecting or banning abortion. Some Republican legislators are reportedly working to advance a national abortion ban if the GOP retakes control of Congress after the November midterms, though a few other Republican politicians have argued a national ban would run into constitutional problems and state bans would be more effective. A bill that would have codified national abortion protections failed in the Senate Wednesday 49-51, falling decisively short of the 60-vote threshold necessary to overcome a filibuster, after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and all 50 Republicans voted no.

Further Reading

“How Americans Really Feel About Abortion: The Sometimes Surprising Poll Results As Supreme Court Reportedly Set To Overturn Roe V. Wade” (Forbes)

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