Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts Wants No Rape or Incest Exception for Abortion

Republican Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts declared on Sunday morning that he wants his state to pass a law banning all abortion with no exceptions for incest or rape, stating that it’s his “intention” to call a special legislative session to take “further steps” to “protect preborn babies .”

Abortion rights have suddenly emerged as one of the top election issues heading into the midterms, following this month’s leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. wade. The opinion, written by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, would not only uphold Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban but would also strike down the federal right to abortion.

Currently, 13 states have so-called “trigger laws” on the books that would immediately and effectively outlaw abortion once Roe v. wade is reversed. Nebraska, however, is not one of these states as their attempt—which would have provided no exceptions in cases of rape or incest—was blocked by a legislative filibuster last month.

Interviewing Ricketts on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday morning, anchor Dana Bash noted that Nebraska’s effort to pass a “trigger law” failed by only two votes before pressing the governor on his abortion stance.

“The abortion ban you tried to pass did not include any exceptions for rape or incest,” she said. “So, can you clarify, do you think that the state of Nebraska should require a young girl who was raped to carry that pregnancy to term?”

Declaring Nebraska a “pro-life state,” Ricketts stated that he believes life begins at conception before affirming that he believes rape victims should be forced to carry a pregnancy to term.

“Those are babies, too. Yew Roe v. wadea horrible constitutional decision, gets overturned by the Supreme Court, which we’re hopeful of, here in Nebraska we’ll take further steps to protect those preborn babies,” he insisted.

“Including in the case of rape or incest?” Bash shot back.

“They’re still babies, too,” Ricketts replied. “Yes, they’re still babies.”

The CNN anchor then wondered whether the governor would call a special session in the state legislature right away in order to pass an abortion ban if Roe v. Wade is overruled.

“I will work with our speaker of the legislature to have a special session and do more to protect preborn babies,” he responded. “We’ll have to see what the decision is before we could take further steps but that would certainly be my intention.”

Ricketts wasn’t the only Republican governor to all abortion bans with no exceptions for rape and incest on Sunday morning. During an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt defended his state’s recently passed law that prohibits abortion after six weeks. The law, similar in style to neighboring state Texas’ bill, does authorize abortions in the case of medical emergencies.

“The argument is that a victim may not know at six weeks that she is pregnant. So what do you say to a woman who finds herself in that situation, lives in your state, and feels like she has no option?” Fox News anchor Shannon Bream asked Stitt.

“That is a human being inside the womb,” he answered. “And we’re going to do everything we can to protect life, and love both the mother and the child. And we don’t think killing one to protect the other is the right thing to do either. And our heart is super compassionate about that.”

These governors’ defense of no rape and incest exceptions for abortion comes after Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves struggled to justify why his state would force pregnancy on victims of incest last week. Additionally, Reeves didn’t take off the table the possibility that his state could outlaw emergency contraception and IUDs.

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