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Nebraska Medical Professionals Launch Ballot Initiative To Safeguard Women's Health Care

Nebraska State News

LINCOLN, Neb. – Today, a committee of Nebraska medical professionals launched the Protect Women and Children Initiative, a ballot initiative proposing a Nebraska constitutional amendment to safeguard women's health care with clear, commonsense abortion limits and exceptions in cases of rape, incest, and to protect the life of the mother.
Protect Women and Children has submitted proposed ballot language to Nebraska Secretary of State Robert Evnen. The proposed language is as follows:
“Except when a woman seeks an abortion necessitated by a medical emergency or when the pregnancy results from sexual assault or incest, unborn children shall be protected from abortion in the second and third trimesters.”
The Protect Women and Children Committee is comprised of four medical professionals: Mark Patefield, Pharm.D., a Laurel pharmacist and member of the Nebraska State Board of Health; Elizabeth Peterson, R.N.; Jan Kuehn, R.N. (retired); and Maureen Bausch, R.N. (retired).
The Protect Women and Children Committee jointly released the following statement:
"The vast majority of Nebraskans support well-defined, commonsense abortion limits after the first trimester of pregnancy, along with exceptions for extreme circumstances, like cases of sexual assault, incest, and medical emergencies. The use of established scientific terms sets clear parameters for women and their physicians, not inviting political interference. That's what the Protect Women and Children Initiative accomplishes.  
"The initiative is in response to the abortion industry's proposed constitutional amendment, which would: 1) subject women and medical professionals to vague, unscientific standards, putting courts in the middle of the doctor-patient relationship; 2) dangerously expand the scope of abortion practice from licensed physicians to any 'health care practitioner'; 3) eliminate parental notification requirements, endangering women and girls across Nebraska; and 4) undermine conscience protections for Nebraska medical professionals. All of these outcomes are harmful to women and children in our state.
“As medical professionals, we have an obligation to provide a commonsense alternative that reflects Nebraskans' sensible position on abortion limits, protects women's health and their relationship with their doctors, and preserves parental notification requirements that save lives. We look forward to discussing these critical issues with Nebraska voters in the weeks and months ahead as we work to protect women and children across our state.”