Petition to ban abortion within city limits filed in Bellevue

Bellevue isn’t the first place in Nebraska looking to approve the abortion ban
Some are hoping to ban abortions within the city limits.
Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 10:39 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Just a week after Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts announced there is not enough support to call a special legislative session to ban abortion in the state, a group in Bellevue is taking matters into their own hands.

Residents in cities across the state of Nebraska and nationwide are creating petitions and requesting special elections in order to outlaw abortion within their city limits, making them ‘Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn.’

The initiative is led by Mark Lee Dickson, a man from Texas.

Dickson is traveling from state to state, working with citizens who share pro-life values and helping them craft ordinances and gather signatures and support to ban abortion in their cities.

The next target in Nebraska: Bellevue. This is likely due to the fact that one of the most outspoken abortion care doctors, Dr. LeRoy Carhart, operates the CARE Reproductive Health abortion clinic there.

Bellevue city attorney Bree Robbins tells 6 News a request for a special election was filed with the city on August 1.

The statement from the filing reads:

“A proposed ordinance outlawing abortion, abortion-inducing drugs, Human Trafficking, declaring Bellevue a sanctuary for the unborn and providing for remedies including a private cause of action to enforce the same and criminal penalties, encouraging the limiting of access to certain information by internet companies and requiring the Public Library to restrict access to certain information.”

In order to make it happen, Robins says those who filed for the petition need to gather signatures from 20% of ‘qualified electors’ in Bellevue. The signatures would need to be gathered in six months starting August 1.

If the signatures are gathered and verified, Robbins says the initiative will be placed before the city council for consideration. If the council doesn’t pass it — it goes to Bellevue voters in a special election.

Dickson tells 6 News he expects to be in Bellevue this coming weekend to develop a strategy and plan with supporters as they begin gathering signatures.

Bellevue isn’t the first place in Nebraska looking to approve the abortion ban. Hayes Center, with a population of less than 300, and Stapleton, with a population of just over 300, are the first two towns in the state to successfully go through the process and ban abortions, making them sanctuary cities.

According to Dickson’s website, at least 12 other towns and cities in the state are beginning the process too, including Arnold, Hershey, Curtis, Kearney, Maxwell, Gothenburg, Sutherland, Moorefield, Brady, Cozad, Wallace, and Paxton.

A representative from Bellevue’s abortion clinic, CARE, says if the signatures are gathered and the city council or voters approve this new ordinance, they may consider opening a new clinic in Omaha.

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