The constitutional amendment, if placed on the ballot and passed during the November 2024 general election, would remove the already modest prohibitions the state has on abortion, including a 12-week prohibition currently in effect. It could also remove health and safety regulations and laws, such as parental consent for minors who seek to kill their preborn babies.
A coalition of pro-abortion activists called “Protect Our Rights” is leading the campaign for the amendment. It includes Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and a group called “I Be Black Girl.”
Currently, state law prohibits abortions at 12 weeks’ gestation. A six-week heartbeat law failed after liberal Republican state Sen. Merv Riepe sided with Democrats to kill that bill in April. The 12-week bill provides minimal protections for preborn babies, as 90% of abortions happened at 12 weeks’ gestation or earlier, according to the state’s health department report. This translates to about 200 babies out of 2,000 being saved due to the 12-week prohibition.
“Based on language related to ‘viability’ and ‘health,’ a right to elective abortions in the second and third trimesters, including up until the point of birth, will be embedded in Nebraska’s constitution if a new pro-abortion ballot measure push is successful,” a coalition of pro-life groups announced in a November 15 statement.
“The measure is part of a nationally coordinated effort by the abortion industry and their allies to remove all rights from the unborn, health protections for women and parental rights,” the Nebraska Pro-Life Coalition stated in a media release. Members include Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, the Nebraska Catholic Conference, Nebraska Right to Life, and Nebraska Family Alliance.
“Nebraska’s law currently allows abortion throughout the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, but that isn’t enough for the abortion industry and activists who are trying to write second- and third-trimester abortions into our constitution,” NRTL Executive Director Sandy Danek stated. The current messaging campaign of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America is to highlight the Democratic Party’s extremism on abortion.
“This amendment would allow for abortion until the moment of birth,” Danek stated.
SBA’s Western Regional Director Adam Schwend reiterated that state law allows for women to have abortions for “health” reasons. “Their claim that Nebraska does not have an adequate life of the mother provision is completely dishonest,” Schwend stated. “The confusion they’re sowing does not just deceive voters but endangers pregnant women in Nebraska who need to know that state law unequivocally allows for them to receive emergency care.”
“Health” is a broad loophole that can be used to justify abortions. Medical experts, meanwhile, have confirmed that abortion is never medically necessary, and pro-lifers note that abortion is always the unjustifiable killing of an innocent baby.
The amendment could eliminate “health and safety protections,” according to the coalition’s analysis. “This includes obtaining informed consent and performing a medical screening, seeing a physician in person or even seeing a medical professional at all. It would allow pills to be sold through the mail by people with no medical background.”
Data from the state further proves that “health” or medical reasons are rarely cited even by women getting abortions. Only 15 abortions cited “Maternal Life Endangered,” according to the 2022 state report. Another 50 cited “Maternal Physical Health,” and two cited an “emergency situation.” Some people cited multiple reasons.
Most women killed their preborn babies because contraception failed or they did not use contraception. No one cited incest as a reason, and only seven cited sexual assault.