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A culture of life

A culture of life

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It’s no secret that I am a strong advocate for pro-life, pro-woman policies. As a member of the Nebraska Legislature, I supported a bill that banned most abortions in Nebraska after 20 weeks of pregnancy, the point at which unborn babies begin to be able to feel pain. Nebraska was the first state in the nation to pass a bill of this kind. And we passed it 44 votes to 5, with senators from all over the political spectrum – Democrat, Republican, pro-choice, and pro-life – coming together to protect our unborn children.

Nebraska’s law passed in 2010. Eight years later, the state of Mississippi passed a similar law, also on a bipartisan basis. The law was immediately challenged in the courts, with a federal judge blocking it from going into effect. Mississippi appealed to the Supreme Court, and the Justices agreed to hear the case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, starting on December 1.

The question at the heart of this case, which will be argued by Mississippi’s first-ever woman attorney general, is clear: Should the Court uphold Mississippi’s 15-week abortion limit and leave room for states to make their own abortion policy? In July, I joined over 200 members of Congress in sending an amicus brief to the Supreme Court, in which we argue that the Court’s answer to this question should be a resounding “yes.”

Our brief points out that by upholding Mississippi’s law, the Supreme Court will allow each state to pass laws that reflect their residents’ values for the first time in nearly 50 years. A lot has changed over that time: 50 years ago, ultrasounds and sonograms weren’t widely available. Today, these technologies are an indispensable part of prenatal care, and the images families see of their unborn children are often nearly identical to the newborns they will soon become.

50 years ago, babies born before around 28 weeks were not expected to survive. Today, scientific advancements have allowed babies born much earlier to not only survive, but go on to live full and happy lives. These advancements have left no doubt about the humanity of the unborn. And the miracles of modern medicine are only going to continue to allow babies born earlier and earlier to survive and thrive.

Our laws should keep pace with this incredible progress, just as the laws of other countries have. Instead, we have one of the most permissive abortion regimes in the world. 90 percent of countries worldwide limit abortion at 15 weeks or earlier – but not the United States. We are one of only four countries, including China and North Korea, where certain states allow abortions up to the day of birth.

Our laws are outdated, and America’s unborn children are paying the price. In the Dobbs case, the Supreme Court has an opportunity to bring the United States into the 21st century.

Thank you for participating in the democratic process. I look forward to visiting with you again next week.


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