State Sen. Joni Albrecht estimated her bill to ban abortions after six weeks would “eliminate 85% of abortions in the state.” The last word in her claim, “state,” serves as an important qualifier — well-off Nebraskans who need abortions will go to Colorado, a state which has steadfast respect for the autonomy of pregnant people. However, her central claim that abortion bans will eliminate abortions is flimsy and inaccurate.
What Albrecht’s bill, publicly supported by around 30 of her colleagues, seeks to do is put abortions in the shadows. Decades prior, when abortion was outright illegal in wide swaths of the country, images of the bloody corpse of Gerri Santoro after a self-administered abortion, sparked outrage and became a symbol of the oppression of pregnant people.
Thankfully, advancements in pharmaceuticals have created medication with less risk -- medication that the state, no matter what Joni Albrecht or Gov. Jim Pillen says, will never be able to stop Nebraskans from importing and self-administering. Nebraskans will continue to get abortions, but they will get them outside the medical/legal system.
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Because this is the ultimate goal of Albrecht and the entire conservative movement — suffering. They know they cannot actually stop abortions, so they will make anyone who seeks a safe medical procedure have to risk it all. Exemptions for rape and incest mean nothing when prosecutors and police departments seldom prosecute and investigate these claims. If these bills pass, we will be further denying freedom to pregnant people to seek medical advice.
Matt Baldwin, Lincoln