LINCOLN, Nebraska, January 4, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Pro-life activists Shari McKee and Melissa Abbink were jailed on December 28th, 2007, for speaking to Lincoln abortionist Winston Crabb on two occasions in front of his home 10 years ago. Abbink faces five months in jail while McKee has been sentenced to serve eight months behind bars.

According to Operation Rescue, in February 1998, both were charged with violating the "focused picketing" ordinance even though neither had signs and both incidents lasted only a minute each.  "Just long enough," said OR, "to plead for the lives of pre-born children as he walked from his car to his house."

After exhausting the appeals of the criminal cases, the convictions were upheld by the Nebraska Supreme Court on September 10, 1999. However, for reasons unknown, the mandate did not come down until September 28, 2005, over 6 years later.

The last two years have been spent seeking a commutation. The women’s cases were brought before the Board of Pardons, which was very sympathetic, but refused to act because the Board does not review misdemeanor cases. The Board referred the cases to the Mayor of Lincoln, who has refused to act claiming he does not have the authority to grant commutations.

According to the women’s attorneys, the Mayor clearly does have the authority to commute misdemeanor sentences.

"We are asking pro-lifers to write to Mayor Beutler and ask him to commute the sentences of these two women," said Larry Donlan, Director of Rescue the Heartland. "Be sure to point out that the Pardon Board says he has the authority to do so. Be polite and remember, it is a commutation that we are after, not a pardon. Like the parable of the widow, we are seeking justice for these two brave, God-fearing women. Only Mayor Beutler has that ability to grant that justice. He can do so by merely picking up the phone."

Mayor Chris Beutler
555 South 10th, 2nd Floor Rm 208,
Lincoln, NE 68508
Fax: 402-441-7120
E-mail:  

The women in two separate facilities may be contacted by mail:

Melissa Abbink
4420 NW 41st
Lincoln, NE 68524

Sharon McKee
1125 E. 17th St.
Columbus, NE 68601