NRL News

Fighting for Life

by | Jun 29, 2023

By Pete Ricketts, U.S. Senator, Nebraska

One year ago this week, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down one of the most important decisions in its history. For years, loud voices on the left have demanded the right to an abortion be absolute, including horrific practices like third-trimester and partial birth abortions.

Despite an unprecedented leak and a politically-motivated assassination attempt against a sitting Supreme Court Justice, in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, the Court restored the right of the American people, through their elected representatives, to make laws regarding the practice of abortion.

As a pro-life state, Nebraska has seen significant progress in recent years to support pregnant mothers and protect unborn children. When I was Governor, I signed into law bills to ban the barbaric practice of dismemberment abortion and bolster our state’s informed consent protections for moms. We provided pregnant mothers priority parking spots and nursing mothers’ rooms at state buildings. We cut maternity and childbirth health care costs and allowed teammates in state government the option to donate unused vacation leave to support expectant mothers. In addition, Nebraska lawmakers recently passed a historic bill to protect life starting at 12 weeks gestation. These efforts have and continue to save many lives, and we should celebrate how far our state has come.

As U.S. Senator, I continue to prioritize the fight for life and have co-sponsored three key pieces of pro-life legislation. Regardless of where individuals fall on the issue of abortion, a strong majority of Americans agree taxpayer dollars shouldn’t be used to fund abortions. That’s why Senator Roger Wicker’s (R-Miss) “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” would establish a permanent, federal government-wide prohibition on funding for abortion.

I also co-sponsored Senator John Thune’s (R-SD) “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.” This bill would protect babies who survive abortion attempts by requiring babies born alive in abortion facilities receive the same level of care he or she would receive had the baby been delivered in the hospital. While this bill shouldn’t be controversial, it continues to be blocked by pro-abortion Democrats.

I also co-sponsored Senator Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) “Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act,” which would make it a federal crime for physicians to perform an abortion on a minor from another state without parental consent or judicial authorization. The bill would also prohibit predators from knowingly hiding their crimes by trafficking minors across state lines for the purpose of getting an abortion. Under current law, the safety of minors and the rights of parents are at risk for exploitation in states that lack parental involvement laws.

Earlier this year, I voted to block an illegal rule from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that sought to provide taxpayer-funded abortion services. This attempt violates not just federal law, but also state and local laws across the country, including in Nebraska. It also represents a significant flip-flop for President Biden who, as a Senator, supported such prohibitions for over 30 years.

While I am proud of my record on this issue, I believe being pro-life is about more than just passing legislation. Our pro-life culture is evident in communities all across Nebraska. We see it in volunteers who give support and hope to the women who visit crisis pregnancy centers. We see it in the way Nebraskans give generously to help young families preparing to welcome a newborn into their home. We see it in churches who rally around young mothers to provide resources and care. We see it in the women and men who make the decision to adopt or foster children in need of a family. These acts of compassion demonstrate daily why to be pro-life is to be pro-mom, pro-baby, and pro-family.

As we celebrate the one-year anniversary of Dobbs, we remember that our work to protect life has still only just begun. Together, we must continue encouraging a culture of life in our state and our country.