Anti-abortion billboard targets lawmaker; wants him out
With the Nebraska Legislature set to get back to work in two weeks, an Omaha area lawmaker is being urged to resign.
State Sen. Merv Riepe’s stand on abortion finds at least one pro-life group out to get him.
NCN’s Joe Jordan tells us that lawmakers like Riepe are not the usual target of pro-lifers, for starters he’s a Republican.
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He was ground zero earlier this year as state lawmakers battled over abortion.
State Sen. Merv Riepe, who represents Ralston and parts of Millard, was the key player in enacting a 12-week abortion ban, stopping a six-week ban.
Now he’s the target of this billboard accusing Riepe of enabling 90 percent of the state’s abortions and asking voters to tell him to resign.
Joe Jordan, NCN: “Smack dab in the middle of your legislative district is a billboard telling you to resign. Are you resigning?
State Sen. Merv Riepe: “No.”
Not only is he not resigning, Riepe’s once again putting abortion in the spotlight.
Specifically, come January he’ll be pushing a bill protecting doctors who perform legally borderline abortions from prosecution.
Sen. Riepe: “Some physicians are not going forward with maybe an abortion procedure when its perceived to be or supposed to be legal and they won’t touch it. I want to make sure that we protect physicians, and I don’t mean protect them beyond a 12-week for an illegal abortion, but the one that’s allowed, and they feel safe and comfortable in making their professional judgement.”
Earlier this year Gov. Jim Pillen, who backed the six-week ban, told me talk of doctors being prosecuted is a farce.
NCN’s Joe Jordan: “Governor, on the new 12-week abortion ban, can you guarantee that doctors who perform those so-called “contested abortions” will not be criminally prosecuted?”
Gov. Jim Pillen, Nebraska (R): “Yea, yea again you know it's the far left trying to create nothing but fear in the conversation. We’ve had a 10-year bill at 20 weeks and there's never one case.”
Jordan: “Have you spoken with the Governor about this?
Sen. Riepe: “No.”
By the way the Governor’s claim that this is all about the “far left,” well Riepe’s a Republican.
Sen. Riepe: “The whole thing is tensed up now from both sides and there might be someone now more likely to go file that lawsuit. Plus, there’s a difference when there was 20 weeks and 12 weeks.”
As for the group behind the billboard, it’s Students for Life Action.
According to its website, the Virginia based operation which claims to be on 1,400 campuses across the country, has an on-line petition drive in the works looking for sign-ups demanding Riepe’s resignation.
NCN has asked the group how many members they have in Nebraska, how many have signed the petition, and how much money they’ve spent to try and oust Riepe.
So far: no response.