from Lincoln Right to Life Newsletter – Aug 2020
At a Saturday, August 15, pro-life rally on the steps of the Capitol, Gov. Pete Ricketts signed new pro-life legislation into law. LB814 prohibits the brutal practice of dismemberment abortion and makes it a felony crime punishable by up to two years in prison and/or a fine of $10,000.
“Nebraska is a pro-life state, and this week the Legislature took an important step to strengthen our culture of life,” Ricketts said to pro-life legislative leaders and a crowd of about 300 pro-life citizens. “State Sen. Suzanne Geist’s bill bans the horrific procedure
of dismemberment abortion, which tears apart a living baby’s body limb by limb.
This brutal procedure has no place in a humane, civilized society. I commend Senator Geist and the bill’s supporters in the Unicameral for outlawing this barbaric practice in Nebraska.”
Sen. Geist of Lincoln introduced the bill, which was approved by the Legislature on August 13 by a vote of 33-8. After the Unicameral’s Judiciary Committee held LB814 in committee,
delaying a vote from the Legislature, Geist filed a pull motion, supported by a majority of the body to bring the bill to the floor for debate. Pro-life senators withstood three filibusters to bring it to a final vote to pass the bill.
“As the senator for the 25th District, I was honored to carry LB814,” Geist said. “This bill passed because a great majority of the Legislative body and a great majority of Nebraska citizens agree with pro-life legislation. I appreciate all who prayed, who contacted their senators and all who voted. This is a significant step forward for the pro-life movement.”
Nebraska joins 12 other states with bans on dismemberment abortions. These include Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Kentucky, Ohio, North Dakota and Indiana.
Governor holds anti-abortion bill signing on steps of Capitol
JoAnne Young Aug 15, 2020 Updated Aug 23, 2020 – The Lincoln Journal Star
Gov. Pete Ricketts signed an anti-abortion bill Saturday on the steps of the Capitol, giving props to eight state senators while a crowd of 200 cheered them on.
Ricketts did the public signing for a bill (LB814) that prohibits a dilation-and-evacuation procedure that the bill calls “dismemberment abortion” on a living fetus. The bill makes it a felony for a medical professional to perform the procedure anywhere in Nebraska, punishable by up to two years in prison and/or a fine of $10,000.
Throughout the signing ceremony, protesters could be heard shouting “murderer” at Ricketts for his financial participation in restoring the death penalty in Nebraska, which the Legislature repealed, through an initiative petition campaign. He also supported the execution of Carey Dean Moore, sentenced to death for killing two Omaha cab drivers. Moore was killed by lethal injection two years ago this month.
Ricketts asked the crowd to lift up in its prayers Julie Schmit-Albin, executive director of Nebraska Right to Life, who could not be there because of ill health. Schmit-Albin sent a note thanking Ricketts and Lincoln Sen. Suzanne Geist on behalf of her organization for their leadership in passing the bill.
“With the assistance of many other pro-life supporters and advocates, you have proven once again that Nebraska is a pro-life state,” the note said.
Ricketts said Geist had to get the bill pulled from the Judiciary Committee and then had to overcome filibusters on all three rounds of debate to get it passed.
Geist said she had never seen such an outpouring of support and prayer for a bill since she has been in the Legislature.
“That’s what helped us overcome this obstacle and every single obstacle,” she said. “That’s what strengthened the … colleagues who were on the fence of whether or not they were going to support this.”
Kristen New of Omaha, who worked as a counselor for three years during college and graduate school at two different abortion clinics, also spoke at the bill signing. She said she watched on ultrasound during a D&E abortion a “preborn baby boy experience pain, attempt to fight for his life and ultimately lose.”
At the end of the signing ceremony, Ricketts called members of the crowd up onto the Capitol steps for a photo. They stood shoulder-to-shoulder for the picture, many of them without face masks.
At least a dozen protesters stood on the sidewalk below the Capitol steps behind temporary perimeter barriers.
The protesters shouted that Ricketts was a hypocrite for saying he is pro-life but supporting the death penalty. They held signs indicating the way to stop abortions was to hold men accountable for unwanted pregnancies. One sign read, “Ask me how you reverse an erection,” referring to a bill passed last year.
That bill requires the state Department of Health and Human Services to provide information for women on what to do if they change their minds halfway through a medication abortion. It was referred to as an abortion reversal.