Nebraska GOP Wants 3-Month Abortion Ban

( – Nebraska Republicans introduced legislation on May 8th that would ban abortions at the 12-week mark, while Democrats vow to filibuster the legislation.

The new bill from state Sen. Ben Hansen would ban abortions after three months of pregnancy, and he’s characterizing it as a compromise after an earlier bill failed. That earlier bill would have banned abortions after just one month and two weeks of pregnancy. 

Sen. Merv Riepe tried and failed to amend that earlier bill banning abortion at six weeks, but his amendment to extend the deadline failed with Republican colleagues. The bill ultimately failed, paving the way for Hansen’s 12-week ban. 

Meanwhile, opponents of abortion restriction are promising to filibuster any effort to further restrict abortion in the current legislative session. Democratic Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh vowed to fight the bill the way she has filibustered a bill regarding the treatment of transgender children.  Opponents of abortion restrictions are unhappy that Republicans have added the abortion restrictions to an amendment within a bill dealing with transgender issues.

Cavanaugh said she was going to “maximize every minute” left in the legislative session with her filibuster.

The earlier 6-week abortion ban bill, otherwise known as a “heartbeat bill,” would have banned the termination of pregnancy once the fetus’s cardiac activity could be detected via ultrasound. The bill did not achieve the 33 votes necessary to end the filibuster against it, and most such bills are abandoned in their legislative sessions. 

Those against the new restrictions point out that Sen. Hansen’s amendment and Sen. Riepe’s earlier amendment to the failed bill had notable differences. Hansen’s amendment makes exceptions for rape, incest, and danger to the life of the mother. Riepe’s earlier legislation included those, but also an exemption for fatal fetal anomalies.

Unlike Riepe’s earlier legislation, Hansens’ proposal would make it a criminal offense for a doctor to perform an abortion outside the exemptions provided. 

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