Lincoln, Neb. — State Senator Megan Hunt is proposing amendments to protect abortion rights in Nebraska’s constitution. The Health and Human Services Committee held a hearing on the amendments Thursday. The constitutional amendments would be subject to a vote of the people, if the Legislature put them on the ballot. Hunt predicted popular opinion would favor them…
Several testified for and against the reproductive rights amendments. Among those in opposition was Marion Miner, associate director of pro-life and family policy with the Nebraska Catholic Conference. Miner told the committee each child is “unique, personal and distinct” from the moment of fertilization. Miner said “that human being has a right to life, and that right to life is not conditional.” Sen. Hunt said she doubted the amendments would get enough support from the committee to be forwarded to the full legislature, but she said she wanted to discuss giving the choice back to the voters.
Sen. Riepe States His Position
The hearing also featured State Sen. Merv Riepe raising concerns that a news outlet or outlets had misstated statements he made regarding an amendment he introduced to LB626. The original bill called for a ban on abortion when cardiac activity can be detected, which is about six weeks of gestation. Riepe’s amendment would instead restrict abortion at 12 weeks after conception. Under current Nebraska law, abortions are legal up until 20 weeks.
Sen. Riepe said he was reported to have said that he felt LB626 was extreme. Riepe said he did not say that. “I just said I had a question, I wanted to have some dialogue,” according to Riepe. Riepe did not identify the news service or services that misquoted him.