skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

As Congress and presidential candidates trade accusations over immigration reform, advocates and experts urge caution in spreading misinformation; Alabama takes new action IVF policy following controversial court decision; and central states urge caution with wildfires brewing.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Congress reaches a deal to avoid a partial government shutdown again. Arizona Republicans want to ensure Trump remains on their state ballot and Senate Democrats reintroduce the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

NE State Senator Faces Bipartisan Criticism for Abortion Ban Amendment

play audio
Play

Monday, March 20, 2023   

Abortion restrictions have been a hot topic in the Nebraska Legislature for the second year in a row, and now the issue has heated up even more.

Sen. Merv Riepe, R-Omaha, introduced an amendment to the abortion bill sponsored by Sen. Joni Albrecht, R-Thurston, Legislative Bill 626, which would extend the ban from the point at which a heartbeat can be detected on ultrasound -- typically 6 weeks from conception -- to 12 weeks.

Calling himself a "compassionate conservative," Riepe said he added the amendment because the issue is serious, controversial and merits more debate.

"I have some concern regarding a heartbeat," Riepe explained. "Because it's so vague that I'm not sure it's defensible."

Andi Curry Grubb, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Nebraska, said in an email "a ban is a ban, plain and simple. Any abortion ban at any stage of pregnancy denies a person the fundamental right to control their own body and health care decisions." Currently, Nebraska law bans abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy.

Grubb wrote Riepe's amendment "illustrates that even conservative senators recognize the unworkability of LB 626 and the harm it could do to Nebraskans and physicians."

Sandy Danek, executive director of Nebraska Right to Life, said her group was caught off guard and "very disappointed and surprised" with Riepe's announcement. She stated he had not spoken with anyone about concerns with Albrecht's bill -- including Albrecht herself -- prior to submitting the amendment, and added Right to Life members are trying to get Riepe to change his mind.

"This is certainly disturbing for us. Problematic," Danek asserted. "His amendment falls short of protecting preborn babies."

Riepe stressed he is not trying to be disruptive or "grandstand." He acknowledged he has constituents and friends on both sides of the issue.

"There's some people who think we need a 12-week limit as opposed to a heartbeat limit," Riepe pointed out. "And it's very emotional. I have friends that are praying for me, and I've had other people say it's still too restrictive; it's not enough."


get more stories like this via email
more stories
According to a report by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, "The annual number of fires in 2005-2018 ... quadrupled in the Great Plains with respect to 1984-1999." (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

It's early in the season for wildfires in Nebraska, but dozens of firefighters have already been battling a large wildfire near North Platte for …


Social Issues

play sound

A new report finds some Missouri laws and prospective laws are perceived as discriminatory regardless of their actual intent - and it outlines some bi…

Environment

play sound

By Frank Jossi for Energy News Network.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection reporting for the Joyce Foundation-Public News Ser…


Grants Pass, Oregon, is a rural community with a sustainability plan. However, local officials say the lack of dedicated staff to secure federal grants threatens the plan's success. (Claire Carlson/The Daily Yonder)

Environment

play sound

By Claire Carlson, John Upton and Kaitlyn Trudeau for The Daily Yonder.Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Oregon News Service for the Public …

Social Issues

play sound

A new Network for Public Education report grades Florida an "F" for its public school funding. As Florida lawmakers negotiate the state budget in …

In a recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, 57% of Americans, including 84% of Democrats and 55% of independents, think America's openness to people from all over the world is essential to who we are as a nation. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

As members of Congress and presidential candidates battle it out over immigration, a group of Nevada leaders and experts dedicated to advancing …

Social Issues

play sound

A bill in Olympia would open access to unemployment while workers are on strike, but time is running out for lawmakers to pass the legislation…

Social Issues

play sound

With Pennsylvania's primary election less than 60 days away, a nonpartisan group is stepping up the pace to educate people on voting by mail and by …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021