Lawmakers feud over key words in abortion ban
A plan to make abortions in Nebraska illegal after six weeks found lawmakers feuding today.
During an hours-long public hearing on a bill that would prohibit abortions once a heartbeat is detected, key wording in the bill brought out some clear-cut disagreement.
According to the Nebraska Heartbeat Act (LB626), an abortion can be performed if there is “reasonable medical judgement” that the mother’s life is at risk.
But those three words don’t sit well with pro-choice State Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh, who challenged the bill’s sponsor, pro-life State Sen. Joni Albrecht:
State Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh, Omaha (D): Somehow this gets reported that this abortion is conducted and if someone believes that it wasn’t conducted using reasonable medical judgement, you’re not going to have doctors performing abortions on people with the risk of losing their lives, if they think that it’s reasonable.
State Sen. Joni Albrecht, Thurston (R): Well, that’s where we have to agree to disagree because I think a doctor…
Cavanaugh: Well, I think the doctors come in and tell us that.
Albrecht: We’ll listen, and we’ll figure it out.
It’s expected that the Health and Human Services Committee, which held today’s hearing, will advance the bill to the floor where it is likely that 33 votes will be needed to end an anticipated filibuster.
Twenty-nine lawmakers have already signed on to the bill.