The Nebraska Republican legislator who killed a bill to ban abortions at 6 weeks so unborn babies will be protected doesn’t care hat pro-life people have to say about his action.

“I don’t answer to them,” Nebraska State Senator Merv Riepe said of the pro-life Republicans throughout the Cornhusker state who are upset he co-sponsored the ban and then sold out women and unborn children by abstaining from voting for it.

Riepe’s actions killed the bill and will result in thousands of babies being killed in abortions until the legislature can try again next year.

“I know there are probably some in there that think I betrayed them,” Riepe said in a recent interview. “But I tell you what, I’ve told them before, I don’t answer to them, I am going to vote my own vote. I’m going to vote it how I see it. And if they don’t like it, go away. I’ve told the party this. My vote belongs to the people of my district, not to the Republican Party.”

Local pro-life Republicans are quite upset with Riepe’s vote.

Days ago, a handful of local GOP voters met up at an Omaha restaurant, where they normally meet once a month to discuss political issues — and Riepe usually joins.

According to The Post, the bakery keeps a “Protect Life” sign visible in one of the pastry cases.

“He basically sided with pro-abortion people, and he can’t take that back,” one of the members, Robert Rohrbough, said of Riepe. “His actions are speaking louder than his words, and there are a lot of people really upset with him. I was disappointed by his actions. There are a lot of people who feel betrayed, myself among them, absolutely.”

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

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

Republican Sen. Merv Riepe had cosponsored the measure to protect babies from abortion when their heartbeat can be detected. He even attended a recent pro-life rally for the bill where he stood behind pro-life leaders urging lawmakers to protect babies from abortions.

Riepe has no apologies for his actions— saying he would vote for a 12 week abortion ban that leaves a larger percentage of children unprotected but not a 6-week ban to protect unborn babies with beating hearts.

“I’ve already taken a whipping and I’m not backing off because I think that’s right.”

“I think there is huge support for 12 weeks as being something sustainable and considered to be reasonable,” Riepe said.

“Neither side would get exactly what they want but could live with it.”

“We live in a pluralistic society,” Riepe said, where a variety of views are in play.

“I’m pro-life,” he said. “But I can’t live someone else’s life.”

Riepe said he was unmoved by pleas from Gov. Jim Pillen to pass the bill so babies in Nebraska can be protected.

“I respect the governor,” he said, “and I know this is close to his heart.”

Pillen, he said, is “a reasonable individual with good core values … but I’m not really good at obedience.”

“I’m a big boy … I served in the Navy … and I think I’m right.”

The question now is whether Riepe will serve in the legislature any longer. He may likely face a pro-life challenge in the next election because of his actions and lying to a pro-life group about his pro-life commitment.

“We were caught off guard by Senator Merv Reipe’s non-vote, given that he chose to co-sponsor the bill, serves on the Health and Human Services Committee and voted to advance the bill out of committee, and then voted to advance the bill on the first round of debate,” said Sandy Danek, executive director of Nebraska Right to Life.

When he was running for office in 2022, Senator Reipe sought and received Nebraska Right to Life’s endorsement. Danek added that Reipe not only checked the box on the NRL candidate survey for abortion being legal “in no case,” he included handwritten comments on the survey stating: “Senator Joni Albrecht and Senator Suzanne Geist have agreed to serve as a reference to my character and integrity regarding right to life.”

Yet Senator Albrecht, the author of LB626, was among those stunned by Reipe’s “present not voting.” His action stands in contrast to Senator Mike McDonnell, the lone Democrat to vote for LB626, who ran as a pro-life candidate and was also endorsed by NRL. McDonnell had previously taken his concerns with the bill to Senator Albrecht, and felt his questions had been answered. Reipe had amble opportunity to bring his concerns to those individuals and groups to whom he had pledged his support.

“Had we known Senator Reipe would not live up his promises made publicly and privately to his constituents, to pro-life groups and fellow pro-life senators, NRL would not have endorsed him,” Danek said. “Senator Reipe’s action compromises the integrity of our long-standing endorsement process that pro-lifers have relied upon when making voting decisions,”
Danek added.

“We are grateful to Senator Albrecht for her steadfast resolve to protect children in the womb, and for the other senators who voted pro-life. We also appreciate Governor Pillen’s quick response in asking Senator Reipe for reconsideration,” Danek said.

As of this writing, pro-life lawmakers are looking at options for going forward with this issue yet this legislative session.

“We will continue to work tirelessly to protect innocent life, and we call upon Senator Riepe to live up to his commitment, expressed orally and in writing, to vote for protection for preborn life in all cases,” Danek stated.

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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