Weekly Column

This past Friday, thousands of Americans traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in the national March for Life. The march celebrated its 50th anniversary this year and is an opportunity to give voice to the voiceless, stand up for the fundamental right to life, and demonstrate support for both mothers and their children. 

This past year, the pro-life movement achieved a landmark victory in the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling. Dobbs rejected the faulty reasoning set forth in Roe v. Wade, which had long been criticized by conservative and liberal legal scholars alike. In Dobbs this June, the court affirmed that there is no constitutional right to abortion and upheld a Mississippi law prohibiting most abortions after 15 weeks. This was the right decision. Abortion law now lies with lawmakers, who represent their communities, rather than unelected judges.

Throughout my years in public service, I’ve always advocated for pro-life policies that show compassion to women and their unborn children. In the Senate, I’ve cosponsored critical pro-life legislation, including the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, SAVE Moms and Babies Act, and Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. When I represented District 43 in the Nebraska Legislature, we enacted a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks, at the point where science showed that babies in the womb could feel pain. Nebraska was the first state in the country to enact common-sense legislation of this kind, which received overwhelming support from both Republican and Democrat state senators, with only 5 senators in opposition.

While we celebrate these pro-life strides, our country can do more to protect the sanctity of life. The U.S. is one of only four countries where some states allow abortion up until the day a baby is born. Only seven of the world’s 198 nations allow abortion procedures after 20 weeks’ gestation, when unborn babies can hear noises, move around, and feel pain.

Science does not support these extreme abortion policies. Ultrasound and sonogram technology have revolutionized our ability to recognize human life in the womb, and great strides in medical care means that tiny babies born prematurely have been able to survive outside the womb. Our laws must reflect this incredible progress.

As a mom and grandmother, I believe it is vital to provide all the support we can for women and children. The pro-life community does not just care about the safe birth of healthy babies. We also care about their futures.

During my time in office, I’ve introduced bills to help families and children overcome difficult circumstances. In 2017, my federal paid family leave tax credit was enacted, which made history as the first-ever U.S. nationwide paid family leave policy. This past year, I introduced the bipartisan Foster Care Stabilization Act in the Senate after Rep. Don Bacon sponsored it in the U.S. House of Representatives. This bill would authorize $3 million in grants from the Department of Health & Human Services to be given to foster care stabilization agencies. 

I will continue supporting life as your Senator during this 118th Congress. I pray that we as Nebraskans will reflect our pro-life values by discussing the abortion issue with grace and empathy and remember the love and good faith that stems from our optimism about life.

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

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