Nebraska Officials React To Supreme Court Ruling To Overturn Roe vs. Wade
LINCOLN–(KFOR June 24)–The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday overturned Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 decision that had provided a constitutional right to abortion.
Among those reacting to the ruling is Nebraska Republican U.S. Senator Ben Sasse, who said the issue will be debated in all states.
“Roe’s days are over, but the pro-life movement’s work has just begun,” said Sasse, who called the movement being about love and compassion. “Let’s support babies, regardless of the situations they face and let’s build communities around them that will love and cherish them.”
ACLU Nebraska legal and policy counsel Scout Richters talked to KFOR News and said decision will allow anti-abortion politicians across the country to force women and other people who can become pregnant into a second class status.
“The bottom line is that abortion remains legal in Nebraska and we know that the majority of Nebraskans overwhelmingly support the right to control our bodies and our own futures,” Richters said.
Richters also told KFOR News the ACLU had been preparing for this decision and a possible special session of the Nebraska Legislature to make abortion illegal. She says they won’t stop fighting for a person’s freedom to decide if and when to have a child.
“We are fully committed to using every tool in our toolbox to ensure that Nebraskans are never forced to be pregnant against their will.” Richters added.
Other reaction Friday to the Supreme Court decision included Republican candidate for governor Jim Pillen, who said in a statement “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.”
Nebraska Republican U.S. Senator Deb Fischer said in a statement, “The justices made the right decision in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Center by affirming that there is no constitutional right to abortion.”
Lincoln State Senator and First District Congressional Democratic candidate Patty Pansing Brooks called it a sad day, saying at a news conference early Friday afternoon the battle over personal freedom has shifted.
“People thought that when the governments were asking the people to wear a mask was a complete invasion of privacy. Now, we literally have government overseeing and regulating the most private parts of a woman.” Pansing Brooks said.
Her opponent in Tuesday’s special Congressional election, Republican State Senator Mike Flood, called the Supreme Court ruling a victory for State’s Rights.
“I believe that elected leaders from across Nebraska, State Senators from every inch of this State, should come to the State Capitol and decide what should the policy be on abortion, not un-elected judges in Washington.”
Pansing Brooks and Flood both agreed that it is uncertain whether a Special Session of the legislature will be called.
“As a former speaker, I can tell you that Special Sessions require a lot of work before one is ever called” said Flood. “Working as hard as you can to find a consensus so that if one is called it’s successful.”
No decision has been made yet by Governor Pete Ricketts over when or if he will call for a special session of the Nebraska Legislature. Speaking after a State Office Building ribbon cutting in Fallbrook Friday afternoon, Ricketts said he would work with Legislative Speaker Mike Hilgers to try to find a way to ban abortions, but hasn’t yet committed to a special session. Ricketts, a conservative Republican who vehemently opposes abortion, praised the ruling as “a victory for the people” and has said he would support a special session to outlaw the procedure in Nebraska.
Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird is not happy about the Supreme Court’s abortion decision. The Mayor Issued a statement saying it “prevents women from managing their own destinies, limits their full freedom, and risks their health and lives”. She said abortion rights supporters should contact their state senators and urge them to act to protect their freedom.”