PRESS RELEASE: Advocates Announce New Bills to Protect Abortion Rights
January 04th, 2022
LINCOLN, Neb. 1.4.22 – Today, Nebraska State Senator Megan Hunt and reproductive health advocates announced a new effort to expand access to abortion care in Nebraska. Sen. Hunt said the effort will focus on three bills when the Nebraska Legislature reconvenes, two of which she plans to introduce this year and one that will carry over from last year. Local medical professionals and civil rights advocates from the ACLU of Nebraska, Planned Parenthood North Central States and the Women’s Fund of Omaha attended the press conference in support of the proposed legislation.
Sen. Hunt is proposing a repeal of the state restriction that forces Nebraskans with private insurance to purchase additional optional coverage for abortion care (LB 715). She will also seek changes to allow Certified Nurse-Midwives, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, and physician assistants to provide abortion care (LB 716).
The third effort focuses on passage of state bill LB276, which carries over from the 2021 session. The bill would repeal Nebraska’s ban on telehealth for medication abortion. Nebraska’s telehealth ban requires patients to take pills in the presence of a physician, despite the Food and Drug Administration’s recent decision to permanently allow medication abortion by mail.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, a national reproductive and sexual health research and policy organization, states have passed 1,336 restrictions on abortion since Roe was decided in 1973 and a record 106 abortion restrictions have passed in 2021 alone. Access to abortion in Nebraska is already highly restricted and the Guttmacher Institute categorizes the state as hostile to reproductive rights.
Today’s press conference comes at a point of national uncertainty surrounding the future of reproductive rights. The U.S. Supreme Court is currently considering Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban in a case that directly challenges Roe v. Wade and nearly 50 years of related precedent. Challenges to Texas’ 6-week abortion ban otherwise known as SB8, the most restrictive ban in the nation, are also pending in the courts.