Pro-abortionists unveiled ballot initiative language Nov. 16 seeking to establish a “right to abortion until birth” in the Nebraska constitution.
Joined by you, the Nebraska Catholic Conference, along with our statewide pro-life friends, Nebraska Family Alliance, Nebraska Right to Life, and Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, will be wholly dedicated to defeating this effort as we fight for the very lives of preborn babies and moms.
The language released by pro-abortionists reads: “All persons shall have a fundamental right to abortion until fetal viability, or when needed to protect the life or health of the pregnant patient, without interference from the state or its political subdivisions. Fetal viability means the point in pregnancy when, in the professional judgment of the patient’s treating health care practitioner, there is a significant likelihood of the fetus’ sustained survival outside the uterus without the application of extraordinary medical measures.”
What does this language actually mean?
“Fetal viability” is defined to allow second- and third-trimester abortions. It will give abortionists the power over life and death by leaving it to their “judgment” whether a preborn baby is “viable” or not. For example, babies who need “extraordinary medical measures,” like a short stay in the NICU, could be judged by an abortionist to be “nonviable” and aborted in the third trimester.
While pro-abortionists are attempting to frame their language as simply allowing abortions until viability, the “health” exception is a major and dangerous loophole that will result in abortions until birth. Courts have found the term “health” to include non-medical factors, such as mental, spiritual, financial, or familial health.
Asserting a fundamental right to abortion “without interference from the state” will put all current safeguards at risk and undermine women’s health and safety. This includes safeguards that require obtaining informed consent, performing medical screenings, seeing a physician in person, or prohibiting abortion pills being sent by mail from individuals with no medical credentials.
The language “all persons” and “patients” will give minor children a right to abortion. This will cause obvious harm to children by subjecting them to the abortion industry, and it will eviscerate parental rights. Parents will lack authority to consent or even know if their minor daughter seeks an abortion. They may also have no recourse if their daughter is harmed during the abortion.
While pro-abortionists attempt to sound reasonable to Nebraskans about their ballot language, their proposal is the farthest thing from reasonable. It is abortion-on-demand, up until birth. Already, pro-abortion advocates, like Planned Parenthood, are lying through their teeth, denying the extreme nature of their proposal. But at the end of the day, this proposal is a fundamental attack on human life, and should be categorically rejected by Nebraskans.
Nebraska’s current law allows abortion until the 12th week of pregnancy and provides exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother. As we have seen with previous polling, this law is widely supported by Nebraskans across the state. But the pro-abortion ballot initiative would wipe out this and other important laws, including protecting babies from dismemberment abortion, providing informed consent to mothers about abortion pill reversal, and protecting babies whom research has demonstrated can definitively feel and react to pain.
What are the next steps for us as Catholics and pro-life advocates?
Decline to Sign. Pro-abortion groups, formed under the misguided name of “Protect Our Rights Nebraska,” have formally launched their petition drive effort. To put a constitutional amendment to a vote of the people in November 2024, they need to collect roughly 120,000 signatures of registered voters from across the state. They have until approximately July of 2024 to collect these signatures. If you encounter petitioners, charitably take up their time talking about the dangerous petition, to prevent other people from engaging and signing. And of course, decline to sign!
Pray and fast. We need Nebraska Catholics—and all Christians—to pray and fast. As we know, this is a spiritual battle, one for lives and souls. Pray and fast that pro-abortionists’ efforts are thwarted at every step and that they utterly fail in their efforts to legalize abortion until birth.
Stay up to date. Stay connected to the Nebraska Catholic Conference—and get your family and friends connected. We will be updating you regularly on this effort and will share opportunities for you to get engaged in this fight for life very soon! Our united and dedicated efforts across the state will be as crucial as ever!
Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!