WASHINGTON— National Right to Life board members and staff mourn the loss of Nebraska Right to Life’s executive director, Julie Schmit-Albin, who passed away after a courageous fight battling a long illness.
“Julie’s courageous fight during her illness was matched only by her love and concern for the most vulnerable among us,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “We mourn her loss as a friend and partner. Our prayers are with her family during this time.”
Julie Schmit-Albin became executive director of Nebraska Right to Life in 1989. Under her leadership, Nebraska Right to Life successfully passed many pro-life pieces of legislation and signed into law, including Nebraska’s 1991 parental involvement law that requires parents be notified before a minor daughter’s abortion. In 1993, Nebraska Right to Life was instrumental in securing passage of Nebraska’s woman’s right to know law. This law requires that a woman be fully informed and voluntarily consent before an abortion be performed.
In addition, Nebraska passed a partial-birth abortion ban in 1997. The ban was found unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in Stenberg v. Carhart. However, when similar legislation was passed at the federal level, the U.S. Congress addressed the issues the High Court found unconstitutional in its Stenberg decision. As a result, in 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the federal ban on partial-birth abortions in Gonzales v. Carhart.
Nebraska’s law requiring that an abortionist inform a woman how she can obtain an ultrasound was passed in 2009. In 2010, Julie was instrumental in seeing that a bill pass that banned abortions after an unborn child is capable of feeling pain. (This was the first bill of its kind in the United States.) And in 2011, under Julie’s direction, Nebraska Right to Life worked to prevent webcam abortions in the state of Nebraska.
Nebraska Right to Life also successfully saw legislation passed in 2018 that stripped abortion organizations of taxpayer funding. In 2019, Nebraska Right to Life saw that a bill was enacted that requires a woman be informed that it is possible to reverse a chemical abortion if the woman has taken the first pill but not the second.
And in 2020, Nebraska Right to Life successfully led the way in passing a ban on the dismemberment of living unborn babies, a bill signed into law by Governor Pete Ricketts.
In the years when pro-life legislation did not pass in Nebraska, Julie was hard at work doing what she did every year—organizing the annual Nebraska Walk for Life, encouraging members to contact legislators to support pro-life legislation. and organizing Nebraska Right to Life’s legislative lobbying day. Julie also served as Nebraska’s representative to the board of directors for National Right to Life.
Julie’s legacy and impact on the pro-life movement is beyond measure.
Years ago, pro-life statesman, Congressman Henry Hyde, made an observation about what it may be like to stand in the presence of God,
When the time comes as it surely will, when we face that awesome moment, the final judgment, I’ve often thought, as Fulton Sheen wrote, that it is a terrible moment of loneliness. You have no advocates, you are there alone standing before God – and a terror will rip through your soul like nothing you can imagine. But I really think that those in the pro-life movement will not be alone. I think there will be a chorus of voices that have never been heard in this world but are heard beautifully and clearly in the next world – and they will plead for everyone who has been in this movement. They will say to God, “Spare him because he loved us,” – and God will look at you and say not, “Did you succeed?” but “Did you try?”
“As Julie is ushered into the presence of her Savior, I am sure she is hearing the ‘chorus of voices that have never been heard in this world but are heard beautifully and clearly in the next world’ speaking up on her behalf,” said Tobias. “She spent her life trying to protect the lives of the most vulnerable among us and we will miss her.”