Weekly Column

**Audio for this week’s column is unavailable**


January ushers in the frigid air of winter, but on January 18th, our nation’s capital was humming with warmth. Thousands of people from across our country, young and old, joined the 46th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C.

Many Nebraskans traveled over 1,000 miles to proudly march in this annual rally and stand tall for the timeless values they hold dear.

They came from all walks of life. Families, student organizations, neighbors, and church groups braved freezing temperatures to march along the national mall and draw the world’s attention to pro-life, pro-women policies. 

Since I first began my career in public service, I have been an ardent supporter of common-sense measures that protect unborn children and offer compassion to expectant mothers. Too often, women in the midst of an unplanned pregnancy experience despair, pain, and judgement from their community. It’s unacceptable. Instead, these women should be receiving assistance, comfort, and reassurance for the challenging times ahead.

That’s why, last week, I was proud to announce my full support for several pro-life bills I have been working on in the U.S. Senate.

I am cosponsoring the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, legislation I have supported time and again. Modern advances in science and technology have shown us that 20 weeks is the point at which an unborn baby is capable of feeling pain. This measure would ban abortions after 20 weeks unless it is imperative to the life of the mother, or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.

During my time serving in the Nebraska Legislature, we enacted into law the first ban on abortions after 20 weeks. Forty-four Nebraska state senators who are Democrats and Republicans, pro-choice and pro-life, voted in its favor. This is sound, common-sense policy and I’m working to enact it at the federal level.

In 2016, revelations of Planned Parenthood’s role in harvesting the body parts of aborted babies shocked the nation. In the same year, the scandal-plagued organization received nearly $544 million from the federal government. Nebraskans’ taxpayer dollars should not be used in this way. I am a cosponsor of the Protect Funding for Women’s Health Care Act, which would prohibit federal funding to Planned Parenthood or any of its affiliates.

It’s past-time that Congress redirect this funding to where it belongs: community health centers. We have seven community health centers, along with 44 clinic sites, throughout Nebraska. Our patients would be better served if more federal funds flowed to these centers that provide compassionate, comprehensive health care for women.

Additionally, I recently voted for the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act. For over 40 years, a provision known as the Hyde Amendment has prohibited the use of federal taxpayer dollars to fund abortions. However, it requires yearly passage through Congress. This bill would permanently establish the Hyde Amendment’s protections into law.

I had the honor of voicing my strong support on the Senate floor for these important bills and for the Nebraskans who traveled to Washington to take part in the March for Life. And I was happy my office hosted families after the march for some hot chocolate and cookies.

But bringing awareness to pro-life issues doesn’t end here. Next weekend, on January 26th, Nebraskans will rally for life in Lincoln. Family and friends from across the state are going to participate in the Nebraska Walk for Life at the State Capitol. I hope you will consider taking some time to join them.

It’s exciting to see the pro-life movement continue to gain momentum, and I’m especially inspired by the growing numbers of young people who support the miracle that is life. So, whether you marched in Washington or will participate this weekend in the Nebraska Walk for Life, please know that I encourage your every step along the way.

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