Abortion Rights Supporters Vow to Resist Bans

Jan. 4, 2022, midnight ·

Sen. Megan Hunt speaks, flanked by abortion rights supporters (Photo by Fred Knapp, Nebraska Public Media News)
Sen. Megan Hunt speaks, flanked by abortion rights supporters (Photo by Fred Knapp, Nebraska Public Media News)

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Advocates of abortion rights Tuesday said Tuesday they would resist any further restrictions in Nebraska, and would push to ease restrictions, as the U.S. Supreme Court considers overturning Roe v. Wade.

About 22 states have laws that would effectively ban abortions if the Supreme Court overturns its landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide. Tuesday, pro-choice advocates vowed to resist any attempt to add Nebraska to that list. In fact, Sen. Megan Hunt promised to introduce two new bills, and push for a third she introduced last year, to loosen restrictions in the state.

The first new bill would remove a requirement that people have to purchase a separate rider to their insurance policy to cover abortions. The second would allow certified nurse midwives, advanced practice registered nurses and physician assistants could provide abortion services, including medication abortions. Current Nebraska law requires a physician to be present. And the third bill, carried over from last year, would remove a ban on using telemedicine for abortion.

Hunt said decisions on abortion should be made by a woman and her doctor, not government.

“As long as people have been becoming pregnant, from the very first human pregnancy, there have been people who don’t want to be pregnant. And there is nothing that a state or a government can do to prevent people from trying to terminate their pregnancies. All a state or government can do is make it safer, and more supportive, or more dangerous for them,” Hunt said.

Hunt said if abortion opponents introduce a ban, the upcoming session could turn into a “circus” dominated by the issue.

Standing nearby listening, Nate Grasz of the anti-abortion Nebraska Family Alliance said only that numerous pro-life proposals will be introduced in the session that begins Wednesday.