New push to restrict abortions to be introduced in Nebraska

Jan 10, 2023, 11:13 PM | Updated: Jan 11, 2023, 1:32 pm

FILE - Nebraska state Sen. Joni Albrecht, R-Thurston, is pictured in the Legislative Chamber in Lincoln, Neb., March 1, 2019. Albrecht, who sponsored a failed total-abortion ban in 2022, announced Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023, that she will introduce a new bill this week that would ban abortion once cardiac activity can be detected in a fetus, which is generally around the sixth week of pregnancy. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

(AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska lawmaker who sponsored a failed total abortion ban last year announced Wednesday that she will introduce a new bill this week that would ban abortion once cardiac activity can be detected in an embryo, which is generally around the sixth week of pregnancy.

State Sen. Joni Albrecht, of Thurston, announced at a news conference that she would introduce the bill Thursday or Friday. It will require an ultrasound to be performed before any abortion and would bar abortions if cardiac activity is detected. It will include exceptions for cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.

“We heard the cry of the public last year,” Albrecht told The Associated Press. “Rape and incest was a big deal.”

The bill also will not include criminal penalties for women who receive abortions or doctors who perform them. Instead, it would subject doctors who perform abortions in violation of the measure to professional discipline, which could include losing their medical licenses. The bill also would not affect in vitro fertilization procedures, Albrecht said.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska immediately took aim at the proposal and said it is prepared to fight any such measure.

“For many Nebraskans in need of abortion care, this ban would have the exact same effect as a total ban because many people do not know they are pregnant at the point when this proposed extreme restriction would take effect,” said ACLU Nebraska legal and policy counsel Scout Richters.

A bevy of Republican-led states have enacted new abortion restrictions since the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturned Roe v. Wade, which had guaranteed the right to abortion nationwide for nearly five decades.

“Abortion rights supporters need to know that it is time to speak out and show up like never before,” Richters said. “We will do everything we can to stop this ban, including making sure our thousands of supporters get that message.”

If enacted, Nebraska would join several other states that have passed cardiac activity abortion bans, including Georgia, Iowa, Ohio, South Carolina and Tennessee. But Nebraska has recently struggled to enact tighter abortion restrictions despite its history of being a leader in abortion limits. In 2010, Nebraska became the first state to ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, and the state outlawed a second-trimester abortion procedure in 2020 despite fervent protests from abortion rights supporters.

But the effort to pass a so-called trigger bill that would have automatically banned nearly all abortions — even those that resulted from rape and incest — as soon as Roe was overturned fell two votes short of the 33 it needed to overcome a filibuster. Then-Gov. Pete Ricketts — a Republican and outspoken abortion opponent — declined to call a special session after Roe was overturned.

Abortion rights proponents have acknowledged that the alliance behind last year’s filibuster is on shaky ground. Democratic state Sen. Justin Wayne, of Omaha, is seen as a key swing vote who could give abortion rights opponents support on a bill that would be less restrictive than a total ban.

Wayne was absent from the legislative chamber when lawmakers voted on the ban last April. He did not immediately return a call Wednesday seeking comment on whether he would support Albrecht’s latest abortion measure.

State Sen. Megan Hunt of Omaha, who has been a vocal proponent of abortion rights and helped lead the effort in the Legislature last year to block Albrecht’s proposed ban, vowed to fight any effort to restrict abortion rights in the state. She introduced a constitutional amendment Wednesday to protect reproductive freedom and prohibit the state from taking action against that freedom.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - The Starbucks logo is seen on a storefront, Friday, Oct. 14, 2022, in Boston Starbucks repor...
Associated Press

Starbucks misses sales, revenue estimates as China falters

Starbucks reported lower-than-expected sales in its fiscal first quarter, with COVID store shutdowns in China overshadowing stronger results elsewhere.
12 hours ago
The Amazon DTW1 fulfillment center is shown in Romulus, Mich., April 1, 2020. Amazon reports financ...
Associated Press

Amazon beats Q4 revenue estimates, but profits slump

Amazon on Thursday reported worse-than-expected profits, but its revenue beat expectations boosted by sales in North America businesses and the cloud-computing unit AWS.
12 hours ago
legislature...
Associated Press

Washington’s low-income tax credit available for first time

 Up to $1,200 is now available for thousands of low-income working Washington residents, thanks to a 2008 law that has finally been funded.
12 hours ago
Associated Press

Family of Minneapolis man killed in no-knock raid sues city

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The parents of Amir Locke, who was shot to death by a Minneapolis police officer when a SWAT team executed a no-knock search warrant one year ago, sued the city and the officer Friday, alleging he was “gunned down in cold blood” in violation of his constitutional rights. Locke, 22, who was […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Skull found in ’97 in remote Alaska belongs to New York man

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A skull found in a remote part of Alaska’s Interior in 1997 belongs to a New York man who likely died in a bear mauling, state authorities said. Investigators used genetic genealogy to help identify the remains as those of Gary Frank Sotherden, according to a statement Thursday from Alaska state […]
1 day ago
The image from video released on Jan. 27, 2023, by the City of Memphis, shows Tyre Nichols leaning ...
Associated Press

Licenses suspended for 2 fired EMTs in Tyre Nichols death

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee board on Friday suspended the emergency medical technician licenses of two former Memphis Fire Department employees for failing to render critical care to Tyre Nichols after he took a beating from police that ultimately killed him. The suspensions of EMT Robert Long and advanced EMT JaMichael Sandridge build on […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
New push to restrict abortions to be introduced in Nebraska