Bellevue abortion ban petition nearly halfway to signature goal

Petitioners seek to ban abortion despite recent threats
Petitioners seek to ban abortion despite recent threats(WOWT 6 News)
Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 9:37 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Despite recent threats, a group in Bellevue is not backing down as they continue efforts to ban abortion within the city.

In August, several Bellevue residents filed a petition seeking to make the city a ‘Sanctuary City for the Unborn,’ a growing pro-life initiative led by a Texas man, who travels the country helping residents craft the petition requests and ordinances.

“The person that’s most threatened by pro-abortion is the child in the womb,” says Judith Mansisidor, one of the three residents who filed the petition.

The petition was filed in August, giving the group six months to gather 20% of voters’ signatures - that’s around 7,400.

Once signatures are verified, the issue goes to Bellevue city council for a vote. If it doesn’t pass, it will go directly to Bellevue voters in a special election.

“It’s going well, I’d say we’re about a third to halfway done, and we have three months left, half the time left, and right now I think the numbers will ramp up quickly over the next month,” Mansisidor says. “What I’m most encouraged about is people coming together that haven’t worked together before in the community and in solidarity that there is to make Bellevue a sanctuary city for the unborn to protect all life.”

Mansisidor’s efforts continue despite two threatening notes that were left at Omaha churches over the weekend.

The notes were supposedly signed by the extremist abortion rights group ‘Jane’s Revenge,’ and threatened to “shoot up” the building if the Bellevue abortion ban passes.

Who actually left the notes is unknown.

“It’s really a shame that there was a threat against this, this is an American process, a civil process, a peaceful process, this is what makes our country so great, and it’s a shame that it was threatened,” she adds.

In August, Bellevue’s abortion clinic, CARE Reproductive Health, told 6 News if the ban passes, it would be devastating for the area.

“Nebraska really only has a couple of access points where people can get this type of healthcare and unfortunately we’re the only one that’s been pretty consistent over the course of the last few years,” CARE representative Shelley Mann said. “I think closing down this clinic would close down access for Nebraskans, people in Bellevue, and people in the region in general.”

Since the overturn of Roe vs. Wade, Mann says the number of patients coming into the clinic greatly increased, many from other states.

“We’ve known that there are folks who are fighting against our clinic all the time so this doesn’t come as any surprise, but we’ve known about it for a while and assumed something like this would happen,” Mann added.

The efforts in Bellevue continue, as Democratic lawmakers in Nebraska prepare for the possibility of more attempts to tighten abortion restrictions in the upcoming legislative session.

With several new senators, it’s not exactly clear where everyone stands on the issue.

“It’s hard to know what to do until we know what we are facing, [we’re] prepared to take on the challenge in the upcoming session,” state senator Machaela Cavanaugh told 6 News last week.