Activists hope to once again make Nebraska the battleground over whether the Supreme Court should reaffirm its 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, recognizing a woman's right to an abortion. Just introduced in Nebraska's unicameral legislature is a bill acknowledged by advocates on both sides of the issue to be unconstitutional under the Court's present jurisprudence.
From the Omaha World-Herald: [links added]
The state has played a role on the national stage before, with a 1997 law banning the controversial late-term procedure known medically as intact dilation and extraction, or D&X.
The U.S. Supreme Court in 2000 overturned that Nebraska law, upholding its previous abortion decisions and dealing a setback to abortion opponents, who call the procedure "partial-birth" abortion.
Those opponents gained hope seven years later, when the justices on a more conservative Supreme Court upheld a federal ban on the D&X procedure.
Now abortion opponents are looking for opportunities to push the court even further in restricting abortion.
The law would ban abortions after 20 weeks, disregarding the question of viability, which occurs around the 24th week of pregnancy and was relied upon as a boundary for state regulation in the Supreme Court's 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision. In Casey, today's swing-vote Justice Anthony Kennedy co-wrote the majority opinion, joined by the liberal wing of the court. The Center for Reproductive Rights' Janet Crepps told the World Herald that this is reason for comfort to the pro-choice community, although Justice Kennedy joined the conservative wing of the Court in its two most recent decisions regarding reproductive rights.