UPDATE, 8/11/20: The Nebraska Senate was able to overcome the pro-abortion filibuster by a vote of 34-9. The bill survived second-round approval and moves to a final vote this week. Governor Pete Ricketts is expected to sign it into law if approved.
8/3/20: Pro-abortion lawmakers in Nebraska used a filibuster on Wednesday to block voting on a bill that would ban dismemberment abortions. While Senator Suzanne Geist (R), the sponsor of LB 814, appears to have the support of the majority of Senators, debate on the bill will only open again if she can secure 33 votes for a super-majority—a task that may be hard to do.
Last week, Sen. Geist explained the purpose of the bill in a legislative update:
LB814 is a bill that would ban the practice of pulling apart a living human being in the womb (weeks 12-24 of pregnancy) limb by limb, until it bleeds to death and is removed from the womb piece by piece. This is often referred to as a dismemberment abortion. At the stage of development when this procedure is performed, a preborn baby has a beating heart, fully developed arms and legs, and can swallow, yawn, hiccup, and smile.
According to Geist, the gruesome procedure is not the most common form of second-trimester abortion in the state, although it does account for most second-trimester abortion deaths elsewhere. Still, she introduced the bill recognizing the importance of ending such a barbaric practice.
Watch a simulation of the procedure in the video below, explained by former abortionist, Dr. Anthony Levatino:
“I think it’s a fitting time to ask ourselves what’s the value of life,” Geist said during the bill’s debate. “LB814 would end the practice of killing a live baby in the second trimester of pregnancy by pulling off its arms and legs piece by piece until it either bleeds to death, its spinal cord is cut or its skull is crushed. It’s an unthinkable way to dispose of a child.”
The bill’s main opponent, Sen. Megan Hunt (D), threatened the filibuster earlier in the month in order to block the bill. “When you play stupid games, you win stupid prizes, and that’s what I feel is going on right now with this type of bill,” she said.
Under the bill, any doctor caught committing a dismemberment D&E abortion would be subject to a Class IV felony, which is punishable by up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The bill would also allow the doctor to be sued for committing the procedure.
If the bill does eventually make it to a vote and pass, Hunt has promised to challenge it, as has been done elsewhere throughout the country. “It’s not a threat, it’s a promise,” she said. “In every state where it’s been challenged, it’s been struck down.”
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