Nebraska Legislature could call special session to again attempt abortion ban ‘trigger law’

Nebraska State Capitol
Nebraska State Capitol(MGN)
Published: May. 3, 2022 at 4:40 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A reversal of Roe v. Wade could prompt the Unicameral to reconvene and again address an issue lawmakers voted down last month.

State Sen. Mike Hilgers of Lincoln told 6 News that it’s possible the Nebraska Legislature could be called to a special session to take up the issue of abortion again if the U.S. Supreme Court makes abortion illegal. A special session can be called either by the governor or if called for by two-thirds of the Unicameral, according to Nebraska law.

Hilgers, who is also the Speaker of the Legislature and a candidate for Nebraska Attorney General, said he’s planning to get together with Gov. Pete Ricketts to discuss another attempt at an abortion ban. LB-933 needed a 33-vote supermajority to pass last session, but it failed with a 31-15 late-night cloture vote last month.

The issue is front-and-center again after a draft of a preliminary opinion from the Supreme Court leaked Monday night shows the Court seems poised to eventually overturn the decision. Chief Justice John Roberts said Tuesday that he had ordered an investigation into what he called the “egregious breach of trust” in leaking the draft document, which was dated to February.

If SCOTUS does overturn Roe v. Wade and the Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision, it’s up to the states to decide whether abortion is legal or not. Last month, Nebraska lawmakers needed two more votes to pass a trigger law to ban abortions with no exceptions for rape or incest so that the state would already have a law on the books to ban it.

A number of people gathered at Omaha City Hall to protest what the Supreme Court is poised to do: overturn Roe v. Wade, which has kept abortion legal for nearly 50 years. Those protesting said the law should remain, to protect a woman’s right to choose.

Overnight a draft of a preliminary opinion from the Supreme Court leaked.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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