Should pro-lifers be ‘sorry’ for protecting babies with disabilities from death by abortion?

Last year, Nebraska lawmakers enacted a law to protect preborn children from abortion after 12 weeks. According to Flatwater Free Press, during negotiations with Governor Jim Pillen, Senator Merv Riepe is said to have agreed to remove an exception for babies who were diagnosed with certain health conditions and not expected to survive — despite the fact that doctors cannot predict with certainty how a health condition will affect each individual. With Riepe’s deciding vote, the law passed without that exception. Now, Riepe has apologized to a woman who chose to leave the state for an abortion at 23 weeks for a fetal diagnosis.

The Nebraska woman, Amanda, learned that her preborn baby had an unnamed health condition that was “rare”; the baby’s brain wasn’t developing properly. At 23 weeks, she decided to abort, but because the Nebraska law protects preborn children after 12 weeks, she went to Illinois for the abortion. She had a late, three-day long abortion, which insurance didn’t cover because it was elective and not due to medical necessity (intentionally killing a preborn child is not medically necessary).

Sen. Riepe now feels guilty about this, because the woman traveled to another state to kill her preborn child — who, even with a disability, was a human being.

“I would tell her I was sorry, that I was not tuned-in enough on this thing, that I failed [in agreeing to remove the exception from the bill],” Riepe said. “I don’t know what you say after you say ‘I’m really sorry.’”

Riepe then introduced a pro-death bill to allow for the targeted killing of preborn human beings up to 20 weeks when a preborn baby receives a diagnosis — because he says he felt “compelled to do the right thing.”

He added, “The real losers are the women in the state” — meaning the ones who aren’t allowed to have their children dismembered for being diagnosed with a prenatal abnormality.

Nebraska’s infamous late-term abortionist joked about dismemberment

The late LeRoy Carhart owned a late-term abortion business in Nebraska, where he killed babies up to 24 weeks.

Before his death, Carhart was the medical director of Clinics for Abortion and Reproductive Excellence (C.A.R.E.), with facilities in Bellevue, Nebraska, and Bethesda, Maryland.

After his death in 2023, his daughter announced that the Nebraska location would stay open.


During a Live Action undercover investigation into Carhart’s practices, he was recorded making jokes about dismembering babies around the same age as Amanda’s child. He told the undercover reporter, who was 26 weeks pregnant, what he does to a baby who cannot be delivered in one piece during an induction abortion:

Undercover reporter: -for some reason, I’m not able to deliver, you’ll be able to get it out–

Carhart: We’d take it out in pieces.

Undercover reporter: –in pieces.

Undercover reporter: What do you use to break it up? Just-

Carhart: A whole bunch of, you know-

Undercover reporter: (Laughs) You’ve got a toolkit.

Carhart: A pickaxe, a drill bit, yeah (laughs).

He also compared babies he kills to “meat in a Crock-pot.” He said the babies’ bodies get “softer” after he induces cardiac arrest and they die in the womb.

Carhart didn’t just kill preborn babies; he was responsible for the deaths of women who went to him for legal abortions — Christin Gilbert and Jennifer Morbelli. Live Action News has previously reported on the late Nebraska abortionist’s record:

Throughout his career, numerous complaints were filed against Carhart, including allegations of unprofessional conduct. These included altering patient charts, talking on the phone while committing abortions, and falling asleep while injecting a patient with lidocaine….

Former staffers also said Carhart allowed abortions to be committed without the proper licensing, and said he lied about the gestational age of preborn children in order to circumvent the law. They also said he kept his facility in unsafe condition, with dried blood on surgical instruments, missing narcotics, illegal drug use by employees, and illegal abortions. Other complaints accused him of illegally disposing of biohazardous waste, along with private patient medical information and even drugs….

Additionally, he was accused of animal neglect

Carhart was also responsible for the deaths of at least two patients — Christin Gilbert and Jennifer Morbelli. In both instances, the women’s families tried to reach staff at Carhart’s abortion facilities, but received no emergency care….

In recent years, Carhart was accused of botching increasing numbers of abortions, at one point coming under investigation by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. In that instance, a 35-year-old woman allegedly suffered internal hemorrhaging, coded at least once, and needed life-saving surgery. A witness reported that this all happened because the staff at Carhart’s facility “let her lie there too long” before finally calling 911.

In another instance, hospital staff were so traumatized by the injuries they witnessed in saving his patients’ lives that hospital administrators sent an e-mail to staff, acknowledging the trauma they experienced.

Carhart actively practiced in Nebraska, where Sen. Riepe serves the public. And he was somehow allowed to continue providing abortions, despite his egregious record. Clearly, allowing this man to continue injuring women along with killing viable preborn children in the state warrants an apology far more than attempting to offer equal protection under the law to preborn children with disabilities.

How the babies lose their lives

Women do lose because of pro-abortion laws — they lose out on motherhood, on the love for and from their babies, and on true empowerment. But the ones who lose the most are the vulnerable and helpless babies who lose their lives.

The most common second-trimester abortion procedure is a D&E dismemberment abortion, in which the child is either killed by a lethal injection that causes cardiac arrest prior to dismemberment, or dies as a result of dismemberment itself. This procedure is carried out between 14 and 22 weeks of pregnancy. The abortionist uses a Sopher clamp to tear the limbs off of the child one by one. He then crushes her skull with the clamp, confirming that the deadly attack is complete when the baby’s brain matter flows out of the mother’s body. Children are known to feel pain at this stage of pregnancy, and likely even sooner.


After 22 weeks, the baby is killed by induction abortion. In this procedure, the abortionist induces cardiac arrest. “Because the child is so large and developed, an abortion procedure at this point takes two to three days to complete,” explained former abortionist Dr. Patti Giebink. Once the baby dies, the mother labors and delivers a stillborn baby, though there is some risk of the child being born alive and left to die.

In video footage from inside the Washington Surgi-Clinic abortion facility in Washington, D.C., owned and operated by abortionist Cesare Santangelo, a nurse tells an undercover patient that she may have to deliver her stillborn (or possibly living, premature) baby alone in her hotel room, admitting, “there is a possibility that you could go into premature labor.”

In a 2013 Live Action undercover investigation, Santangelo said that his method of killing preborn babies does not involve the use of an injected feticide to cause cardiac arrest, but instead, he cuts the umbilical cord and waits for the child to die. He also said if a child survived an abortion at his facility, he and his staff “would not help it” to survive.

Blaming Riepe

Amanda did not accept Riepe’s apology; she saw it as arriving too late.

“He’s still trying to take away the access and had me go through stuff that was way worse … so I don’t really care to hear his opinion,” she said.

But Riepe wasn’t responsible for Amanda’s decision to spend $10,000 and travel out of state to kill her baby late in pregnancy so she could avoid giving birth to a child with additional health needs. He didn’t force her to “go through stuff” — and any negative abortion-related emotions she may be feeling are not because of the law, but because of the abortion decision itself.

Significant research shows that women who abort following fetal diagnoses suffer “physical and emotional pain, with psychosocial and reproductive consequences.” Additional studies reveal that aborting a ‘wanted’ baby due to a diagnosis can be a “traumatic event … which entails the risk of severe and complicated grieving.” After 14 months, 17% of women who had an abortion following a fetal diagnosis were diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder such as post-traumatic stress, anxiety, or depression.

More women and children will be victims of horrific abortion procedures and the trauma that goes with them if Riepe’s new proposed law with an exception to allow the discriminatory killing of preborn children with health conditions goes forward. Amanda blames Riepe for her own free choice to kill her baby — a baby who will never get the apology that is owed.

The DOJ put a pro-life grandmother in jail for protesting the killing of preborn children. Please take 30-seconds to TELL CONGRESS: STOP THE DOJ FROM TARGETING PRO-LIFE AMERICANS.

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