Speaker of Nebraska Legislature to call special session if Roe v. Wade ruling overturned

A 2020 DHHS report indicates more than 2,300 abortions were performed in Nebraska in 2020.
A 2020 DHHS report indicates more than 2,300 abortions were performed in Nebraska in 2020.(KOLN)
Published: May. 3, 2022 at 5:38 PM CDT|Updated: May. 3, 2022 at 5:43 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - As of now, abortions up to 22 weeks gestation are legal in Nebraska, but if Roe v. Wade is overruled, as a draft of a Supreme Court opinion suggests, some Nebraska State Senators will make another attempt at changing that.

Speaker Mike Hilgers told 10/11 Tuesday, he prioritized LB 933, the bill that would have triggered a complete ban with such a ruling, to avoid a special session.

“If the court overturns Roe and Casey, and Nebraska reclaims its constitutional ability to prohibit abortion, I will work with the Governor to schedule a special session to protect the unborn,” Hilgers said in a statement.

LB 933 failed by two votes after a filibuster in the most recent session. Senators Adam Morfeld said in an email, and Senator Jen Day tweeted, along with other senators, that they will continue to fight legislation which would ban abortion in the state.

“We will fight these dangerous bans that endanger women and violate basic civil rights and we will defeat it again as we did last session,” Morfeld’s statement said.

Nebraska state law requires facilities performing abortions to report data to the Department of Health and Human Services, which puts together an annual report. The most recent data available is from 2020, with the 2021 report due for release in June.

The data shows, 2,378 abortions were performed in Nebraska in 2020. That’s up 15% from 2019 but down 14% from the 20 year average.

The average age of people getting abortions in Nebraska was 26 in 2020. The report shows 10% of patients were under 19, 58% were in their twenties and 31% over 30 years old. Nine patients under 15 received abortions in 2020.

The average age of a Nebraska abortion patient is 26 years old.
The average age of a Nebraska abortion patient is 26 years old.(KOLN)

As far as other demographics, 62% of patients receiving abortions were white, 17% were Black, 2.4% were Native American, 4% were Asian, 4% indicated other and 11% didn’t report a race. 14.3 of patients reported they were Hispanic.

Demographic breakdown of abortion patients in Nebraska in 2020.
Demographic breakdown of abortion patients in Nebraska in 2020.(KOLN)

The data also reflects the reasons for the abortion. 35% of patients cited no contraception was used and 20% said their contraception failed. Other reasons reported include fetal anomaly, maternal health in danger, sexual assault and socio-economic reasons.

This is a breakdown of the top reasons for abortion in Nebraska in 2020.
This is a breakdown of the top reasons for abortion in Nebraska in 2020.(KOLN)

The report also shows 62% of patients receiving abortions in 2020 already had at least one child. 60% had never had an abortion before and over 80% do not have college degrees.

Additional data regarding abortion in Nebraska
Additional data regarding abortion in Nebraska(KOLN)

87.3% of abortions occurred in the first trimester of pregnancy, prior to 12 weeks gestation, with the majority taking place at six weeks.

The data also shows people travel from outside of the state to receive abortions. 200 people came from Iowa and 132 people came from South Dakota. Others also came from Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota and Texas.

Read the full 2020 Statistical Report of Abortions here: https://dhhs.ne.gov/Abortion%20Reports/2020%20Statistical%20Report%20of%20Abortions.pdf

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