Special legislative session on abortion possible in Nebraska

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has made its decision Nebraska lawmakers will most likely be asked to decide how will the state deal with abortions.
Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 1:44 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Earlier this month Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts made it clear that he is interested in calling a special session of the legislature if Roe is overturned, and if he can see a path forward to change Nebraska’s abortion rules.

“We are going to call a special session if we cant get 33 votes,” Ricketts said. “I will work with Speaker Hilgers on the best strategy to being successful. If I call a special session I fully intend it to be successful.”

According to the Clerk’s office of the Nebraska Legislature, the governor would have a discussion with the Speaker to determine when would be the best time to call a special session. The governor would then issue a proclamation that would call senators to Lincoln for at least a seven working day session.

If a special session is called the state can expect a spirited debate over an issue that's been a major controversy for decades.

Speaker Mike Hilgers issued a statement Friday.

“I anticipate that Nebraskans’ elected representatives in the Legislature will be in special session this summer to pass legislation to protect pre-born babies,” the statement read. “I will work with Governor Ricketts on the timing of a special session. And, after reviewing the Supreme Court’s opinion in detail, I will work closely with the Governor and my legislative colleagues on the scope of such protections. "

Ricketts also issued a statement Friday.

“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.”

Nebraska State Sen. Megan Hunt also released a statement essentially saying the governor can expect to push back if senators are called to Lincoln for a special session.

“Today, ABORTION IS STILL LEGAL in Nebraska. Abortion funds, clinics, and support networks are here to help you. Do not cancel your appointments, and if you need care, please reach out to a provider immediately. I am organizing direct action if the Nebraska Legislature goes into a special session to ban abortion in our state. We have stopped an abortion ban before, and we will do it again together.”

If a special session is called, the state can expect a spirited debate over an issue that’s been a major controversy for decades.

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