UNITED STATES NEWS

Abortion-restriction effort reintroduced in Nebraska

May 8, 2023, 7:47 PM

A new effort was introduced late Monday in the Nebraska Legislature to restrict abortion access in the state, less than two weeks after a bill that would have banned abortion at around six weeks of pregnancy failed to overcome a filibuster.

The new plan to ban abortion at 12 weeks of pregnancy drew fervent protests from opponents who had been assured by Speaker of the Legislature Sen. John Arch that the abortion proposal was dead for the session.

Drawing even more outrage was the way the measure was introduced: as an amendment to a bill that would ban gender-affirming hormone treatments and gender reassignment surgery for minors — the most controversial bill of the session that has led at least two lawmakers to filibuster every bill before the body this year.

Omaha Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh, who has led the filibuster effort since late February to protest the trans bill, angrily promised Monday night to ratchet up her efforts to further slow the work of the Legislature following the abortion amendment.

“We have 161 hours after today. That is going from 9 a.m. to midnight,” she said. “And you better believe I’m going to maximize every minute of that. Every single minute of it.”

In late April, an abortion bill that would have banned abortion once cardiac activity can be detected failed to get the 33 votes it needed to end the debate on it. Historically, that means the bill is shelved for the remainder of the session.

Sen. Ben Hansen, a chiropractor from Blair, introduced the 12-week abortion ban on Monday, billing it as a reboot of a compromise amendment introduced during the abortion debate last month by Republican Sen. Merv Riepe. Riepe had initially supported the 6-week ban, but he later voiced concern that the measure was too extreme. When his fellow Republicans rejected his compromise amendment to push the ban to 12 weeks, he withheld his vote on the motion to end debate, leading to the abortion bill’s failure.

But opponents note stark differences in Hansen’s amendment and Riepe’s. While Hansen’s measure offers exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother, it does not include an exception for fatal fetal anomalies, as Riepe’s bill did. Hansen’s proposal also criminalizes abortion for doctors who perform it outside the exceptions listed.

Opponents of both abortion restrictions and the trans bill said the latest effort by conservative lawmakers that combines both subverts legislative rules that require two combined measures to be related and that call for any proposal that imposes a criminal element to first go through the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee.

Adding the abortion ban as an amendment to the trans bill also means it gets to skip ahead in the legislative process. Instead of going through three rounds of debate that every bill must survive to pass, it would be subjected only to a final two-hour round of debate, critics said.

Liberal lawmakers in the officially nonpartisan body also complained that a promise last month by Arch and the author of the trans bill, freshman Sen. Kathleen Kauth, to reach a compromise with opponents on her bill before it was scheduled for a final round of debate never came to fruition. Instead, conservative lawmakers decided among themselves to make exceptions for minors already receiving gender-affirming care and call it a compromise, opponents said.

At a minimum, opponents wanted sections of the bill that would ban gender-affirming hormone treatments removed.

Omaha Sen. Jen Day railed against the move, noting that she and other lawmakers had heeded calls by conservative leaders to “keep the temperature down” during bill debates so as not to upset the compromise efforts on the trans bill.

“And we did, in good faith,” Day said. “And then today, the proponents of the bill came in, threw a bunch of gasoline on the carpet, threw a match on the chamber, and lit the building on fire. So much for keeping the temperature down.”

United States News

Associated Press

Shooting at a party in Alabama’s capital leaves 13 injured, officials say

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A shooting at a crowded party in Alabama’s capital left 13 people injured — nine of whom were shot, officials said Sunday. Four other people were injured in the subsequent chaos. Mayor Steven L. Reed said in a statement that police and medics responded to reports of gunshot victims at 1:46 […]

26 minutes ago

Associated Press

Millions in the US prepare for more sweltering heat as floodwaters inundate parts of the Midwest

Millions of Americans prepared to sweat through yet another scorching day, with the potential for rolling storms later Sunday to bring relief from the sweltering heat for at least some. Floodwaters inundated parts of the Midwest, including a town in Iowa evacuated after being submerged up to the rooftops. Across the country in California, daily […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Ten people are injured in a shooting in Columbus, Ohio. Police are searching for a suspect

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Police in Ohio say 10 people were injured, including one seriously, in a shooting in Columbus. The shooting occurred early Sunday in the Short North Arts District, local media said, quoting law enforcement. The Columbus Police Department said all the injured were males, eight adults and two youths who ranged in […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Philadelphia police officer shot by fleeing suspect is in critical condition

A Philadelphia police officer was shot in the neck and was in critical condition Saturday night, officials said. The 31-year-old officer was in critical condition and undergoing surgery at Temple University Hospital, Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel said during a news conference outside the hospital. The officer, a veteran of more than six years on the […]

14 hours ago

Associated Press

A fourth victim has died a day after a shooting at an Arkansas grocery store, police say

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Police say a fourth victim has died a day after a shooting at an Arkansas grocery store. The person died Saturday evening, Arkansas state police said in a statement. A total of 14 people were wounded in Friday’s shooting, according to police: “11 civilians, two law enforcement officers and the […]

15 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, Saturda...

Associated Press

Trump endorses Ten Commandments in schools, implores evangelical Christians to vote in November

Trump endorsed displaying the Ten Commandments in schools while speaking to a group of politically influential evangelical Christians.

15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Abortion-restriction effort reintroduced in Nebraska