By Nebraska Right to Life
The annual Pro-Life Legislative Day, hosted by Nebraska Right to Life, was a success with 40 pro-life citizen lobbyists being trained at the State Capitol on the morning of March 2.
The attendees were briefed on LB 767,the Dismemberment Abortion Ban, LB 990 which would ban the sale of fetal tissue, and LB 1056, which would legalize physician-assisted suicide.
Jennifer Popik, J.D., from National Right to Life’s Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics, provided an overview of why NRLC feels a dismemberment abortion ban would be upheld in court, citing precedent from previous U.S. Supreme Court cases.
Nebraska Right to Life Executive Director Julie Schmit-Albin went over the legislative process for the one house Nebraska Unicameral and introduced state Senators Tommy Garrett and Al Davis as the sponsors of LB 767 and LB 990, respectively. The senators told participants why they introduced the bills and what they hoped to accomplish with their passage.
The morning concluded when attendees were provided with packets of information to give to their state Senators. They were ushered to the Rotunda outside the Legislative Chamber to call their senators out for discussion of the bills. After lunch, some participants were able to attend the Judiciary Committee hearing on both bills where both Popik and Schmit-Albin testified.
A week earlier, Nebraska Right to Life brought in Wayne Cockfield, a disability rights activist from South Carolina and vice president for medical ethics at NRLC. A disabled Vietnam veteran, Cockfield received much media attention in Nebraska. He was a guest on radio station KFAB, gave an interview to Nebraska Public Radio, was interviewed by KETV and was featured on a segment on KLKN TV.
Cockfield appeared before the Judiciary Committee on February 24 to oppose LB 1056, which would legalize physician assisted suicide. He was joined by Schmit-Albin.
LB 1056 did not pass out of Committee and LB 767 and LB 990 are held in Committee without a vote. This being the short, 60 day Session, it is likely that all three bills will die at the end of the session.
However, Nebraska Right to Life said this is just the first volley for the dismemberment abortion ban. For example, Senator Tommy Garrett has already said he will reintroduce in next year’s longer session.