Nebraska Democrats Push Abortion In Huge New Way

Similar to what has happened in other red states when Republicans have enacted or attempted to enact abortion restrictions, there is a push to put abortion rights in the Nebraska Constitution.

The proposed petition text was submitted to the Nebraska Secretary of State’s office by the group Protect Our Rights at the end of last month.

On Wednesday, the state’s primary elections authority made the wording public. A press conference will be held on Thursday to kick off the initiative officially. By next summer, they want to have collected the needed 125,000 valid signatures to put the initiative on the ballot in 2024.

“We are confident in our work, and we are enthusiastic,” said Ashlei Spivey, founder and executive director of I Be Black Girl, an Omaha-based reproductive rights nonprofit that is part of the coalition. The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska, the Women’s Fund, and Planned Parenthood are affiliated with this coalition.

Until the fetus can live outside the womb, or if it is required to protect the life or well-being of the pregnant person, the proposed amendment supports recognizing a fundamental right to abortion. The petition specifies that the patient’s doctor makes the call on fetal viability.

Spivey said the organization believed polls that showed a majority of Nebraskans supported abortion access. This is in line with voter sentiment in other pro-choice states, such as Ohio, where a constitutional amendment was just passed to protect access to abortion.

Proponents of abortion rights are now planning to take the issue to voters in 2024 in at least 12 states.

Voters in all seven states where a statewide referendum was taken have favored access to abortion after the U.S. Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that safeguarded abortion rights nationally. Even in conservative Kansas, where Republicans control the state legislature, voters soundly rejected a bid to impose new regulations or outlaw the practice last year.

A representative for the Nebraska Catholic Conference, Paige Brown, said that those who oppose abortion are aware of the backlash they’ve received.

According to Brown’s statement, significant pro-life groups in Nebraska are not seeking their ballot measure. Instead, she claimed that they will focus on defending Nebraska’s current abortion laws, including the 12-week restriction, which was established by the Republican-led Legislature earlier this year. Except in cases of rape, incest, or where the mother’s life is in imminent danger, the ban does not apply to abortion.