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Republican Defends Killing Nebraska Bill to Protect Babies From Abortion: “I Don’t Want to be Mean”Steven Ertelt


A Nebraska Republican lawmaker is defending killing an abortion ban that would protect babies with beating hearts.

Nebraska could have been the next state to protect babies from abortions if not for a recalcitrant Republicans who sold out unborn children.

Republican Sen. Merv Riepe had cosponsored the measure to protect babies from abortion when their heartbeat can be detected, but yesterday he abstained from voting on the measure. That allowed a Democrat filibuster of the bill to prevail – making it so thousands of babies will continue to be killed in abortions until the legislature can try again next year.

Today he defending killing the pro-life bill and allowing babies to be killed for another year, claiming he didn’t “want to be mean.” Riepe says it shouldn’t have been a surprise when he showed signs of changing a 6-week abortion ban that he co-sponsored

“I submitted an amendment that went to 12 weeks two or three weeks earlier so they had some indication that this guy, this Riepe, had some other thoughts at least on his mind,” Riepe said.

“I’ve gotten some, you know, stated things that are very personal and somewhat at times hateful.”

Sen. Riepe also has been under pressure from Gov. Pillen and other political organizations to change his mind and change his vote.

“You know I’ve talked with the governor and I didn’t change it for him, so I don’t know why I should change it for anyone else.”

ACTION ALERT: To contact Merv Riepe to complain, call (402) 471-2623 or Email:

Sen. Riepe, a hospital administrator, says he talked to many doctors before making his amendment from a 6-week to a 12-week abortion ban.

“I still stand with the idea that the 12-week makes more sense to me than going to this almost no abortions in the ban of the 6 weeks. “And so I’ve already paid the price of you know, going back I would probably be hated by both sides then for sure.”

Despite what some are saying, Riepe says he is still pro-life and still a Republican.

“I consider myself a compassionate conservative. Jack Kemp was kinda one of my heroes and I like him because he wasn’t a staunch and republicans over some time developed. They’re mean people, I don’t want to be mean. I don’t want to see myself as being mean.”

Apparently Kemp isn’t much of a hero to Riepe because the legislator doesn’t know that Kemp was solidly pro-life and sponsored legislation to protect babies from abortion.

Riepe filed an amendment to the bill to allow killing babies in abortions up to 12 weeks, which would have neutralized most of the pro-life protections.

To secure passage and protect women in very rare situations, the bill already included exceptions for cases of rape, incest and medical emergencies that threaten the life of the mother, making specific exceptions for ectopic pregnancies, IVF procedures, and allowing for the removal of a fetus that has died in the womb.

The bill’s author, Thurston Sen. Joni Albrecht rejected that argument, saying the bill already accounted for very rare situation possible but still allowing abortions to be banned when used as birth control.

“This is simply not necessary,” Albrecht said.

She said the 6-week bill was already a compromise from her original legislation that more properly protected babies starting at conception.


“This bill is about one thing,” she said. “It’s protecting babies with beating hearts from elective abortion.”

Last year’s bill fell two short and pro-life advocates in Nebraska will need to work hard to obtain another vote.

Currently, abortion is legal for any reason up to 20 weeks in Nebraska. In 2021, 2,360 unborn babies were aborted and nearly two thirds were later than six weeks of pregnancy, according to the state health department.

Earlier in the month, hundreds of people participated in a pro-life rally outside the state Capitol, calling on lawmakers to protect unborn babies from abortion. Speaking to the crowd, Gov. Jim Pillen expressed hope that unborn babies soon will be protected in their state.

“The most important time and privilege for me as your governor is that we get this across the finish line, and today is the start,” Pillen said.

A January poll by WPA Intelligence found 58 percent of Nebraskans support protecting an unborn baby with a beating heart from abortion.

The pro-life legislation also has the support of the Nebraska Family Alliance, doctors and medical professionals.

During a hearing earlier this year, Dr. Robert Bonebrake, an OB-GYN and maternal fetal specialist, told lawmakers that the heartbeat bill protects both mothers’ and unborn babies’ lives, and does not hinder doctors from treating mothers with pregnancy complications, according to the Unicameral Update.

“LB626 lays out the clear standard for protecting a woman’s life and health,” Bonebrake said. “Any physician providing best medical practice is safe under this framework.”

Because the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, 14 states now are enforcing pro-life laws that prohibit or strictly limit the killing of unborn babies in abortions, and others are fighting in court to do the same. Along with Nebraska, Florida lawmakers also are debating heartbeat legislation this month.

New data this week shows tens of thousands of unborn babies were saved from abortion in the first five months after the June ruling.

ACTION ALERT: To contact Merv Riepe to complain, call (402) 471-2623 or Email:

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