Nebraskans react to the Roe v. Wade ruling

By: - June 24, 2022 11:04 am

Abortion rights protesters gather May 3, 2022, outside the U.S. Supreme Court Building. (Jane Norman/States Newsroom)

Reaction from Nebraska officials has come in swiftly to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Friday overturning Roe v. Wade. Here’s a sampling:

  • U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb.: I have always supported pro-life policies that show compassion for women and their unborn children. Both conservative and liberal legal scholars have long questioned the legal reasoning in Roe v. Wade. The justices made the right decision in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Center by affirming that there is no constitutional right to abortion. Today’s ruling returns policy making decisions on this issue to state and federal lawmakers. It’s going to take good-faith and empathy to address it.”
  • U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb.: “America’s work of becoming a more perfect Union is never over, but today — by righting a constitutional wrong — the Supreme Court took a historic step forward. Roe’s days are over, but the pro-life movement’s work has just begun. This issue will now be debate in the 50 states, and a 330,000,000-person, continental nation will work through this debate in a way that’s healthier than Roe’s one-size-fits-all, Washington-centrism.”
  •  U.S. Rep. Don Bacon, 2nd Congressional District: “Life is the most precious right and today’s decision in the Dobbs case affirms that. It does not outlaw abortion, but puts it in the hands of the elected representatives of the states and Congress. I now have worked for decades to defend life, and today their prayers were answered. I urge all to respond with mutual respect, civility and grace.”
  • State Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks, Democratic candidate for the 1st Congressional District: “Today the U.S. Supreme Court made an unconscionable decision to overturn Roe v. Waade, giving the government the seat at our daughters’ exam tables for which many have long coveted. A majority of Americans and Nebraskans do not agree that abortion should be illegal. Tuesday’s special election will be our first opportunity to stand up and fight back at the ballot box against this extreme effort to push us back into the Dark Ages.”
  • State Sen. Mike Flood, Repubican candidate for the 1st Congressional District: “Today, the Supreme Court has returned abortion-related policy decisions back to the states and the people, where they belong. I am proudly pro-life, and am proud to have sponsored and passed the nation’s first Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which banned abortions at 20 weeks, when babies can feel pain. We helped pave the way for this landmark decision. Nebraskans agree: we want to protect innocent life and support women in crisis.”

  • State Sen. Tony Vargas, Democratic candidate for the 2nd Congressional District: “Politicians don’t belong in doctor’s offices making medical decisions. Women should make the decisions that are the best for them with their doctors. Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court is a clear threat to Americans’ health, safety, and rights. Governor Ricketts has promised to call the Legislature back into a special session, and when he does I’m ready to keep fighting for Nebraska women and families, alongside Planned Parenthood Action, to ensure their access to reproductive health care is protected. And in Congress, just as I have in the Nebraska Legislature, I’ll continue fighting to keep the heavy hand of government out of these important and deeply personal decisions.”
  • Jim Pillen, Republican candidate for governor: “Nebraska is a pro-life state because our citizens understand that life is the most precious gift of God’s grace. Today, 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.”
  • State Sen. Carol Blood, Democratic candidate for governor: “Reproductive justice is on the minds of many women here in Nebraska today. The trigger bill that will ultimately follow will cause Nebraskans to live in a police state. We will become a police state where doctors will live in fear when they need to provide necessary patient care. It will endanger the jobs of medical specialists who may be trying to protect a woman’s health, disallow women from making decisions on IVF with their doctors never allowing them to experience parenthood, mandate what types of birth control a woman may use instead of allowing the woman and her doctor to make that decision. … It’s terrifying that we are choosing to not protect the victims of sexual assault, especially our children.”
  • Sandy Danek, executive director, Nebraska Right to Life: “The Unicameral will now be charged with taking up the issue of abortion to determine what protection they are willing to provide to Nebraska women and their children. We must continue to work vigorously to elect pro-life representatives in the State Legislature to pass laws to protect mothers and their pre-born children. Elections matter. Nebraska is a pro-life state and our elected officials should reflect Nebraskans commitment to protecting all innocent life.”
  • Nate Grasz, policy director, Nebraska Family Alliance: “This is a historic victory for preborn children and their mothers. Overturning Roe finally gets the courts out of the abortion business and allows Americans to decide this issue through our elected representatives. For decades, the pro-life movement has worked not just to overturn Roe but to save lives, empower women, educate, and bring lasting cultural change. The pro-life movement cares not only about the unborn child but also for vulnerable mothers. This is demonstrated by the more than 2,700 pregnancy care centers nationwide that serve millions of people annually. With today’s decision, now our real work begins.”
  • Jo Giles, executive director, Women’s Fund of Omaha: “Everyone deserves the right to decide if, when and how to start a family — including all Nebraskans. Each of us should be free to live our lives with dignity and to make the decisions that are best for our lives, families and communities. Collectively, we will continue to reject further medically unnecessary restrictions to abortion that only stand in the way of pregnant people and the care they need.”
  • Scout Richters, legal and policy counsel, American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska: “Most Nebraskans support keeping abortion legal in our state because they understand no one should be forced to carry a pregnancy against their will or face the life-altering consequences of being denied abortion care. This race to take away people’s rights is dangerous and dystopian — and we will do everything we can to stop it. The impacts of pushing abortion out of reach would fall disproportionately on the same people who have always faced systemic barriers to care: Nebraskans of color, LGBTQ+ Nebraskans, undocumented Nebraskans, young Nebraskans, Nebraskans living in rural communities, Nebraskans with disabilities and Nebraskans with low incomes. All Nebraskans must remain free to make the right decisions for themselves and their families. Now, more than ever, is the time to contact your state senator and demand they respect our reproductive rights.”
  • Gov. Pete Ricketts: “Roe v. Wade took away the states’ right to regulate abortion and cost millions of babies their lives. Today’s Supreme Court decision restores the rights of the people, and as a result our future generations will have a chance at life. The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe is an answer to millions of prayers on behalf of the unborn and a victory for human life.  I will be working with our legislative leaders to determine what more we can do to protect our preborn babies.”
  • U.S. Rep Adrian Smith, R-Neb: “Life is a miracle that begins at conception. While today’s decision is a win for the pro-life movement, our work does not end here. We must ensure states – which are now rightfully tasked with authority over abortion — have the resources needed to restore a culture that respects and values life by supporting at-risk mothers, fathers, and children.”
  • Nebraska Legislative Speaker Mike Hilgers: “After nearly 50 years, the Supreme Court has rightfully overturned Roe and Casey and returned the question of abortion to the elected representatives of the states. I anticipate that Nebraskans’ elected representatives in the Legislature will be in special session this summer to pass legislation to protect pre-born babies. I will work with Governor Ricketts on the timing of a special session. And, after reviewing the Supreme Court’s opinion in detail, I will work closely with the Governor and my legislative colleagues on the scope of such protections.”
  • State Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh of Omaha: “This is a really dark day for women in this country, and our autonomy. And I’m concerned about what the future holds for us. What other things will be taken away from women?” She said abortion no longer is a “hot-button political talking point. … Now you have to deal with the reality of the health care implications. They never had to address those health care realities before. … No matter what your religious beliefs are, women’s health care is a real thing.”
  • Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert: “The Supreme Court ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade will not be the end of the decades-long fight that is important to so many people. States, including Nebraska, will now consider state laws to ban, restrict or expand access to abortions. I have always believed these decisions should be addressed at the state level with appropriate and clear laws that stipulate any restrictions or exceptions. While this is a tremendously personal and emotional issue, I believe our Legislature can address it successfully. I am proud of my pro-life position and will advocate to further reduce the prevalence of abortion in our state.”

This is a developing story. Check back later for updates.

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