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The Legislature was officially called back into session on Monday after the Speaker paused the Legislature on March 25th.
On Tuesday evening, we debated my motion to pull my priority bill out of the Judiciary Committee so that the whole Legislature could debate the bill. I would like to share with you a little about my priority bill and why I filed a pull motion.
LB814 is a bill that would ban the practice of pulling apart a living human being in the womb (weeks 12-24 of pregnancy) limb by limb, until it bleeds to death and is removed from the womb piece by piece. This is often referred to as a dismemberment abortion. At the stage of development when this procedure is performed, a preborn baby has a beating heart, fully developed arms and legs, and can swallow, yawn, hiccup, and smile.
Though not very common in Nebraska, this is the most common method of second trimester abortion in the country. However, in Nebraska in 2019, there were 6 dismemberment abortions performed in Nebraska out of 181 second trimester abortions.
Unfortunately, despite compelling testimony and broad support from my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, the Judiciary committee was at an impasse. There were not enough votes to send the bill to the floor or enough votes to kill the bill. After discussion with the committee chairman, Senator Steve Lathrop, I decided to file a Pull Motion. A Pull Motion requires 25 votes, and if successfully passed would allow the bill to be debated on the floor of the Legislature. Out of respect to the chairman and the committee process, I informed Senator Lathrop of my motion. Pull Motions are not very common, and should not be common. But this was the perfect instance for me to use a pull motion.
The debate on the pull motion went on for over 2 hours and at the end of the debate, my pull motion passed with 30 votes in favor of debating my bill on the floor. Hopefully, we will be able to debate my bill on the floor early next week.
On a less positive note, some of my colleagues have not been very collegial this week. There were many accusations and insinuations that were not true and very disrespectful. We have been debating some contentious issues, but we all must continue to treat each other with respect. Speaker Scheer adjourned early today so that we could all go home and take time with our families. Hopefully, we can come back next week rested and ready to treat each other with the respect that each one of us deserves.