(WOWT) - State leaders and politicians from Nebraska and Iowa have been issuing reaction statements in the wake of
Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. GOVERNORS Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (Angel Alvarez)
“Roe v. Wade took away the states’ right to regulate abortion and cost millions of babies their lives.
Today’s Supreme Court decision restores the rights of the people, and as a result our future generations will have a chance at life.
The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe is an answer to millions of prayers on behalf of the unborn and a victory for human life. I will be working with our legislative leaders to determine what more we can do to protect our preborn babies.”
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
“The Supreme Court’s greatest moments have come when it allows America to embody more perfectly the enduring truth on which it was founded: that all human beings, without exception, are created equal. By that measure, today’s historic decision is clearly one such moment. But the fight for life is not over. As Governor, I won’t rest until every unborn Iowan is protected and respected.”
SENATORS Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb. (GRAYDC)
“I have always supported pro-life policies that show compassion for women and their unborn children. Both conservative and liberal legal scholars have long questioned the legal reasoning in Roe v. Wade. The justices made the right decision in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Center by affirming that there is no constitutional right to abortion.
“Today’s ruling returns policy making decisions on this issue to state and federal lawmakers. It’s going to take good-faith and empathy to address it.”
Sen. Ben Sasse, R - Neb.
“America’s work of becoming a more perfect Union is never over, but today – by righting a Constitutional wrong – the Supreme Court took a historic step forward. Roe’s days are over, but the pro-life movement’s work has just begun. This issue will now be debated in the 50 states, and a 330,000,000-person, continental nation will work through this debate in a way that’s healthier than Roe’s one-size-fits-all, Washington-centrism. The pro-life movement is pro-baby, pro-mom, and pro-science. This cause is rooted in love and now is the time to show it. We can’t call this legal victory the end, because our movement has never been primarily about lawsuits and laws – it’s about love and compassion. So let’s celebrate today’s victory and get to work. Let’s support and love all pregnant women. Let’s come alongside them and give the support they need. Let’s support babies regardless of the situations they face and build communities around them that will love and cherish them.
On a separate note, let’s celebrate the fact that our institutions held. In spite of the doxxing of their homes, violent threats and intimidation, and even a plot to assassinate Justice Kavanaugh, the Court held strong. There is no room for political violence in America – none. Mob violence is un-American, period. President Biden needs to personally and forcefully condemn violence and threats against Supreme Court Justices. Our institutions still work. Let’s keep faith in them.”
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley (KCRG)
“Today’s decision recognized that the weak legal reasoning in Roe v. Wade has done more to provoke conflict than to resolve it, as the late Justice Ginsburg observed. In a meticulous and well-reasoned opinion, the court dispensed with a flawed precedent, as it has rightly done in landmark decisions throughout history.
For many Americans, including myself, this decision is about far more than correcting a flawed legal analysis in Roe; it means that the rights of the unborn are no longer in jeopardy by our federal government. Our nation was founded on the fundamental principle we are endowed by our creator with the unalienable right to life — a right that must be protected.
This ruling does not ban the practice of abortion but instead empowers the people, through their accountable elected representatives to make commonsense policy decisions. It takes policymaking out of the hands of unelected judges.
Regardless of your views on this issue, or any other issue for that matter, we all should respect the role of our impartial judiciary and the decisions that it renders. We’re blessed to live in a country where the people play a leading role in how we are governed. The people can advocate for policy priorities in the public square, the halls of Congress and at the ballot box, as so many pro-life Americans have done throughout the past five decades. Seeking to intimidate or attack the court or undermine its credibility because of an outcome that you don’t support is not the answer.”
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa
“I’m proudly and adamantly pro-life. This decision reflects the science, will save lives, and rightly returns policymaking power back to the American people and their elected officials.”
CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES Congressman Don Bacon, R-Neb.
“Life is the most precious right and today’s decision in the Dobbs case affirms that. It does not outlaw abortion, but puts it in the hands of the elected representatives of the states and Congress. I know many have worked for decades to defend life, and today their prayers were answered. I urge all to respond with mutual respect, civility and grace.”
Congresswoman Cindy Axne, D-Iowa (Charlie Neibergall | AP)
“Today is a tragic day for women and for all Americans. The Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is unconscionable, cruel, and takes the power away from tens of millions of American women to make their own medical decisions.
I have seen firsthand how much progress women have made towards equal pay and equal rights in recent years. Because of the Roe decision, women just like me have been able to go to college, build careers, and plan their lives and families on their own terms. It will disproportionately affect the poor, minority communities, and anyone who can’t travel to another state or country to receive lifesaving medical care.
This decision takes our country back decades and threatens every American's right to privacy.
Put simply, this decision is discriminatory, unfair, upends 50 years of precedent, and goes against the majority opinion of the American people.”
LOCAL LEADERS Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert (WOWT)
“The Supreme Court ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade will not be the end of the decades-long fight that is important to so many people.
States, including Nebraska, will now consider state laws to ban, restrict or expand access to abortions. I have always believed these decisions should be addressed at the state level with appropriate and clear laws that stipulate any restrictions or exceptions. While this is a tremendously personal and emotional issue, I believe our legislature can address it successfully.
I am proud of my pro-life position and will advocate to further reduce the prevalence of abortion in our state.
We also need to ensure we give equal focus to related matters that are often overlooked when discussing this issue such as adoption, pregnancy counseling, foster care, and expanded health care.”
POLITICAL PARTIES (AP)
“The majority of Nebraskans believe abortion must remain legal and that women must have the right to make their own health decisions,” Kleeb said. “Republicans from Don Bacon, to Mike Flood, Adrian Smith and Jim Pillen are putting women’s lives at-risk for their callous political agenda. We can block the ban at the ballot box by voting for our strong Democratic candidates.”
“This victory at the Supreme Court is indicative of the long hard fight to protect the unborn. Roe was wrongfully decided from the start. States should have always had the power to make laws that protected innocent life.
“The Republican Party of Iowa stands committed to defending the most important freedom we have, the Right to Life. While this decision is a huge victory, the fight to protect the unborn must continue on. For the coming months, Democrats will be relentless in trying to intimidate judges and politicians. We must stand strong.”
“It is a dark day for freedom in our nation as we reckon with the consequences of a 50-years-long vendetta against the freedoms protected by Roe v. Wade.
Iowa Democrats will continue to fight for every Iowan’s right to decide for themselves if, when, and with whom they want to have a family. And this decision has only strengthened our resolve to see these personal freedoms restored.
The majority of Iowans and Americans believe that abortion should be legal. Democrats in the U.S. House have voted multiple times to write the protections of Roe into law, but Republicans in the Senate block it every time.
We must elect Iowa Democrats at every level of government in order to protect abortion rights. Kim Reynolds and Iowa Republicans will do everything in their power to outlaw abortion in our state.
This fight is not over — and I’m proud to stand alongside the Iowans organizing for a future where our personal freedoms are protected.”
“I am terrified of what this decision means for myself and my community. Without the reproductive freedoms protected by Roe v. Wade, we lose the necessary autonomy we should be able to have over our lives, our bodies and our reproductive health.
And with the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision to allow restrictions on abortion care, Republican legislators are now given free rein to intrude into our personal lives and require Iowans to endure immeasurable obstacles to just receive medical care.
The state of reproductive health care in our state is abysmal – we’ve closed labor and delivery wards all over the state, Iowa Republicans took away funding for birth control and sex education, and all of the pregnancy-related deaths in our state in the last year were deemed preventable.
Reproductive justice is not only the right to decide your own fate, but the right to a safe pregnancy and delivery, a welcoming community where your family can thrive, and the expectation that society will protect your children as they grow up.”
CANDIDATES (Source: MGN) (MGN) GUBERNATORIAL
“Reproductive justice is on the minds of many women here in Nebraska today. The trigger bill that will ultimately follow will cause Nebraskans to live in a police state. We will become a police state where doctors will live in fear when they need to provide necessary patient care. It will endanger the jobs of medical specialists who may be trying to protect a woman’s health, disallow women from making decisions on IVF with their doctors never allowing them to experience parenthood, mandate what types of birth control a woman may use instead of allowing the woman and her doctor to make that decision. It will negatively affect our medical students here in Nebraska seeking training in Obstetrics and Gynecology, causing many to not want to train in Nebraska or prevent them from receiving certain certifications to allow for health procedures such as a D&C, often needed after a miscarriage.
It’s terrifying that we are choosing to not protect the victims of sexual assault, especially our children. I can’t comprehend the expectation that a child traumatized by incest will be forced to carry a pregnancy conceived from abuse and then be forced to deal with adult decisions such as potential genetic mutations. This seems heartless and wrong. Why do we have elected officials and candidates wanting to further this trauma? I have grave concerns about the collateral damage we will be creating with these types of decisions that should be between a patient and healthcare provider, a woman and her partner or husband, or a family and their minister or priest.”
“Nebraska is a pro-life state because our citizens understand that life is the most precious gift of God’s grace,” said Pillen. “Today, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed what we have long known to be true: Our constitution contains no right to murder an unborn child. I will do all I can to ensure that no more unborn babies are killed.”
“Politicians don’t belong in doctor’s offices making medical decisions. Women should make the decisions that are the best for them with their doctors. Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court takes away an established right that protected Americans’ health and safety for nearly 50 years.
Governor Ricketts has promised to call the Legislature back into a special session, and when he does I’m ready to keep fighting for Nebraska women and families to ensure their access to reproductive healthcare is protected.
Rep. Don Bacon is currently backing legislation that will criminalize abortion even in instances of rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is at risk. It’s never been more important to have leadership that will continue fighting to keep the heavy hand of government out of these important and deeply personal decisions.”
“Today, the Supreme Court has returned abortion-related policy decisions back to the states and the people, where they belong. I am proudly pro-life, and am proud to have sponsored and passed the nation’s first Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which banned abortions at 20 weeks, when babies can feel pain. We helped pave the way for this landmark decision.
“Nebraskans agree: we want to protect innocent life and support women in crisis. My opponent supports taxpayer-subsidized abortion and opposes any restriction of abortion — a radical position that is completely out of touch with the voters of Nebraska’s 1st Congressional District.”
“Today the U.S. Supreme Court made an unconscionable decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, giving the government the seat at our daughters’ exam tables for which many have long coveted.
A majority of Americans and Nebraskans do not agree that abortion should be illegal. Tuesday’s special election will be our first opportunity to stand up and fight back at the ballot box against this extreme effort to push us back into the Dark Ages. My opponent doesn’t even support exceptions for rape or incest. The contrast and stakes are clear.”
“With the Supreme Court’s ruling and the Nebraska Legislature now poised to attempt to ban abortion even in cases of rape or incest, I will not criminalize doctors or women for reproductive decisions as your next chief prosecutor in Lancaster County. This is in stark contrast to the current county attorney.
I will not turn every miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, IVF procedure, and split-second life-saving decision by a doctor into a criminal investigation. These are private decisions that should be left to a woman and her doctor not politicians and lawyers.”
"Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, decisions recognizing the constitutional right to abortion. Today’s decision is expected to lead to roughly half the states in the country banning abortion, denying an estimated 36 million Americans the fundamental right to decide for themselves whether and when to become a parent.
Abortion is still legal today in Nebraska, but anti-abortion politicians have been clear about their intent to seek a total abortion ban in a special session.
Most Nebraskans are not in support of that plan. March polling on abortion rights in Nebraska found most respondents opposed a total ban and a majority of Nebraskans wanted Roe v. Wade to remain the law of the land.
Advocates helped defeat a total ban earlier this year and they are ready to do so again."
“Nebraska Right to Life applauds the U.S Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark judgment that has allowed for abortion-on-demand for almost 50 years in our country. With this decision, states will be allowed to take up the issue of abortion with their elected representatives and state legislatures.
This pro-life victory is the result of years of work by the pro-life movement in the legislature, educational and political areas. That work can and will continue...
Nebraska has passed several protective pro-life laws in the last few decades, from Parental Consent to banning abortion at 20 weeks with the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act...
Governor Pete Ricketts has committed to a Special Session of the Legislature to determine the response to the Roe v. Wade reversal. LB933, a trigger ban that would have banned abortion in the state of Nebraska failed by just two votes this past Legislative session. A special session will allow the issue to be considered once again...”
“The Unicameral will now be charged with taking up the issue of abortion to determine what protection they are willing to provide to Nebraska women and their children...
We must continue to work vigorously to elect pro-life representatives in the State Legislature to pass laws to protect mothers and their pre-born children...
Elections matter. Nebraska is a pro-life state and our elected officials should reflect Nebraskans commitment to protecting all innocent life.
Ultimately, this is an opportunity to offer life-affirming options and resources to women in an unplanned pregnancy. There are more than 25 donor-driven pregnancy help centers in the state offering support and resources to women in need of assistance.”
“Nebraskans need to know abortion remains safe and legal in our state, and Planned Parenthood’s doors are open. Elections have consequences, and we are now living through an unprecedented moment in which our fundamental rights are being eviscerated. Every person deserves the right to control their own body. We know this, and so do the majority of Americans and Nebraskans who support abortion rights. We as Nebraskans are stronger together, and we will get through this challenge together. Now is the time to march, mobilize, organize, text, call, write, shout — do everything possible to keep abortion safe and legal in Nebraska.”
“We understand the impacts of this decision and will continue to work alongside community and our partners to ensure abortion care is safe, legal and accessible in Nebraska. This point in time seems uncertain, scary and traumatic — and we make space for how those who are most impacted are navigating this decision. We remain firm that we deserve to decide and our health care choices, which include abortion, do not belong with government or politicians.”
“Everyone deserves the right to decide if, when and how to start a family—including all Nebraskans. Each of us should be free to live our lives with dignity and to make the decisions that are best for our lives, families and communities. Collectively, we will continue to reject further medically unnecessary restrictions to abortion that only stand in the way of pregnant people and the care they need.”
“We are heartbroken and so incredibly angry. Angry for what this means for patients, for how this will disproportionately affect BIPOC communities, rural communities and people with low incomes; for what this means for our loved ones, for our lives and futures. In Nebraska, we will keep helping people access abortion no matter what. We will keep fighting alongside our partners to make sure patients can receive equitable abortion care in our state. We will continue to cover procedures, pay for travel, arrange trips, and help people navigate and remove the tremendous barriers that already exist and will only get worse. We are never going away, no matter what happens and no matter what’s next in Nebraska. We will continue to ‘aid and abet abortion’ proudly and without hesitation.”
“The Supreme Court’s decision in the Dobbs case is a major victory for unborn children, for their mothers and for the cause of justice in our country. Citizens and their elected representatives in each state will now have the opportunity to guarantee the right to life for the child in the womb.
Many in our country will not agree with the reasoning and the decision of the Supreme Court. And some women will still wonder how they can meet the challenge of an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy. This is a moment for each of us to commit to not let any woman face her challenge alone. In the Catholic community, we possess many resources that are well suited to support moms and their children. Mothers and children contribute gifts to our communities that we want to cherish.
For years we have witnessed the help given to women by pregnancy resource centers, homes for pregnant and new moms and various mentoring programs. Catholics sponsor childcare and pre-school programs, St. Vincent de Paul chapters provide food and rent assistance, we operate excellent K-12 schools, along with colleges and universities willing to provide education support. Catholic Charities hosts a domestic violence shelter, supportive counseling, food pantries and other services.
We can quickly respond to mothers and children who need us, and we can come up with the material resources to make something good happen for them, all while respecting their dignity and being enriched by their hopes.
Our parishes will be connecting to a national effort called “Walking with Moms in Need.” We envision that each parish community will be seen as a place of warmth and acceptance where woman can turn in their need. This will require caring parishioners who are acquainted with available services and who are willing to accompany women with respect on their journey to a peaceful and secure life with their children.
As we work to shape just laws in Nebraska to protect the unborn, we must each take up the responsibility to create communities where these children and their parents can flourish.”
— This is a developing story. Stay with 6 News for updates. Correction: A previous version of this story contained an incorrect statement credited to Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds. 6 News regrets the error. Copyright 2022 WOWT. All rights reserved.