SCOTUS abortion ruling could spur special session, Ricketts says in CNN interview

Governor Ricketts expects special session if Roe v. Wade overturned.
Published: May. 16, 2022 at 8:46 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts will call a special session of the legislature if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade and sends the issue back to each state to legislate, he told CNN in an interview Sunday.

On May 2, a leaked draft of a U.S. Supreme Court decision suggested the country’s highest court could be poised to overturn the constitutional right to abortion, allowing individual states to more heavily regulate or even ban the procedure.

More than a dozen states now have so-called trigger laws on their books, which means abortion will almost immediately be banned in those states if Roe v. Wade is no longer in effect.

Nebraska lawmakers nearly passed such a law last month, but it was successfully filibustered by opposing lawmakers.

“If we do get that, Roe versus Wade overturned, I will work with our speaker of the legislature to work on a special session and do more to protect pre-born babies,” Ricketts told CNN’s Dana Bash. “We’ll have to wait and see what that decision is before we can take further steps, but that would certainly be my intention.”

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 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.

“I believe life begins at conception and those are babies too,” Ricketts told CNN’s Dana Bash. “So if Roe v. Wade, which was a horrible, constitutional decision, uh, gets overturned by the Supreme Court, which we’re hopeful of, here in Nebraska, we’re gonna take further steps to protect those pre-born babies.”

“Including in the case of rape or incest?” Bash asked Ricketts.

“They’re still babies who yes, they’re still babies,” Ricketts responded.

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