Aug 8, 2022 - Health

Nebraska Republicans lack votes to amend state's abortion laws

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts speaks in Maryland on June 21, 2018. Picture: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) was unable to garner enough votes Monday to convene a special legislative session for the state to consider stricter abortion laws.

Driving the news: Ricketts said previously that he would take action against abortion if Roe v. Wade were overturned. But his plan to prohibit abortions starting at 12 weeks fell three votes short, according to a statement from his office.

By the numbers: Of 49 senators in the state legislature, 30 supported amending Nebraska’s abortion laws to prohibit abortions starting at 12 weeks.

  • The legislation required 33 votes to pass.
  • There are 32 Republicans and 17 Democrats in the Nebraska's unicameral state legislature

What he's saying: "It is deeply saddening that only 30 Nebraska state senators are willing to come back to Lincoln this fall in order to protect innocent life," Ricketts said in a statement Monday. 

  • "The proposal to change Nebraska’s state law that prohibits abortions starting at 20 weeks and reduce that to 12 weeks is a measured, reasonable step to protect more preborn babies in our state," he added.

Context: Ricketts had announced in May that he would convene the special session in the state legislature to introduce anti-abortion legislation if Roe were overturned.

  • Ricketts had also said that he'd push for measures that do not include exceptions for rape and incest.

Zoom in: Nebraska does not have a trigger law that would've been required to make abortion illegal in the state after Roe v. Wade were overturned in June.

  • An attempt to create a trigger law failed in the state's legislature in April, according to AP.
  • Abortion is currently legal through the 20th week of pregnancy in Nebraska.
Go deeper