Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
Midlands Voices: Expand access to abortion care
0 Comments

Midlands Voices: Expand access to abortion care

  • Updated
  • 0

As a mom, I know firsthand that the decision about whether and when to become a parent is one of the most consequential life decisions we make. That’s why I believe so strongly that Nebraskans should have the freedom to make their own choices about what is best for their lives and their families, including decisions about abortion care.

Put simply, decisions about reproductive health care aren’t mine to make. They belong to Nebraskans, not the government.

Megan Hunt

Megan Hunt of Omaha represents District 8 in the Nebraska Legislature.

Abortion is safe and legal in Nebraska, but lawmakers who are opposed to those rights have added layers of medically unnecessary barriers that make the procedure harder to access than it should be. These barriers fall hardest on Nebraskans who are financially struggling, most often young Nebraskans, rural Nebraskans and Nebraskans of color.

Every time I speak with local health care professionals who provide abortion care, I hear a similar story: Barriers related to cost and travel are taking decisions out of Nebraskans’ hands, risking their health, and sometimes putting them on track to be pushed into poverty or further into poverty. Although abortion is a right, some Nebraskans effectively don’t have access, so the right means nothing to them.

This is unacceptable, but not unsolvable. In the 2022 legislative session, my colleagues must join me in expanding access to care rather than joining the stampede of other state legislative bodies that are tripping over themselves to take away people’s rights and tie doctors’ hands.

Many Nebraskans don’t know about our medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion care until they or someone they love is in need of abortion care. For example, currently you must purchase an optional rider from your private insurance if you need abortion care coverage in most situations. This can result in unexpected bills totaling thousands of dollars. Legislation I’m introducing this session could change that.

I’m also seeking an end to Nebraska’s inexplicable and unnecessary ban on telehealth for medication abortion. Omaha World-Herald readers may have seen the announcement that the Food and Drug Administration is permanently authorizing medication abortion by mail. This is an exceedingly safe two-pill procedure legal in 31 states, but state law currently denies telehealth options to Nebraskans by requiring them to be in the same room as a provider, even if it’s just to swallow a pill and go home. A bill I introduced last year, LB 276, would repeal this requirement and bring abortion care in line with every other treatment offered in this state. It is important for all Nebraskans, but especially those in rural communities who cannot access care close to home.

Finally, we need to recognize that given the safety of abortion care, many duties that are performed by physicians can also be safely done by our skilled licensed advance practice registered nurses, certified nurse midwives and physician assistants. I will be introducing a bill modifying requirements to allow these practitioners to better support patient access.

I hope other state senators will join me and the majority of Nebraskans who support these measures and will reject any proposal that would add new restrictions.

The common theme with all of this is that a patient’s health should drive medical decisions, not politics. These issues belong between Nebraskans, their families and their doctors. We must trust Nebraskans to make the right decisions for their personal circumstances with the guidance and support of medical providers they trust. I believe that to my core and I know I’m in good company. According to the Pew Research Center, most Nebraskans oppose outlawing abortion.

None of us can walk in each other’s shoes. Nebraskans believe in respecting others’ privacy, dignity and bodily autonomy. We need to shop shaming and stigmatizing and start doing better to ensure every Nebraskan and their rights are respected.

We must do better, and I believe that we can.

Megan Hunt of Omaha represents District 8 in the Nebraska Legislature.


Midlands Voices: November and December 2021

  • 0

After systems failed at-risk children, Father Flanagan created a new kind of place for kids, one built on kindness, love and science-based care.

  • Updated
  • 0

MECA and Project Harmony addressed needs for which traditional approaches didn't have answers. 

  • Updated
  • 0

Gary Parrott, one of the Navy SEALs who parachuted onto the Capitol grounds at Gov. Bob Kerrey's inauguration, knew how to tell a good story and had many good stories to tell.

  • Updated
  • 0

The Omaha area is on track to have the highest number of suicide deaths in our youth population since data has been collected.

  • Updated
  • 0

Packing the Supreme Court would take an ax to the tradition of judicial independence in this country, Sen. Deb Fischer writes.

  • Updated
  • 0

Only about 90 people would be hospitalized in Nebraska today if everyone were vaccinated. 

  • Updated
  • 0

All of the science is telling us that we need to speed up the decarbonization process in order to stand a chance against climate change. We need bold action now.

  • Updated
  • 0

"Critical race theory and anti-racism are at the heart of UNL’s plan, woven into action items that have been proposed."

  • Updated
  • 0

With the recent discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves at Native American boarding schools, these institutions are getting long-overdue attention for the hardships many of their students endured.

  • Updated
  • 0

Nebraskans need to understand the dangers of the Biden administration's Build Back Better plan, Sen. Ben Sasse writes.   

  • Updated
  • 0

Omaha institutions and community advocates have developed a constructive mindset enabling these fruitful collaborations. 

  • Updated
  • 0

Gov. Ricketts' criticism of the Biden administration's "30x30" plan undercuts Nebraska's ability to address this need.

  • Updated
  • 0

Michael Flynn's radical call for America to have one religion alone raises major concern. 

  • Updated
  • 0

“Unless you believe, you will not understand.”

  • Updated
  • 0

Engaging a wide range of local stakeholders, including communities of color, is crucial for success. 

  • Updated
  • 0

Democrats' focus in helping middle- and working-class households, not big corporations, the chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party writes. 

  • Updated
  • 0

An Omahan highlights some key takeaways she found from attending the recent international climate action conference in Scotland. 

  • Updated
  • 0

The National Utility Contractors Association of Nebraska explains the bill's importance but also the challenge from the workforce shortage.

  • Updated
  • 0

If democracy is to survive, the lies, the “alternative facts” and the embrace of a fallen leader must not continue.

  • Updated
  • 0

Let's also remember the disadvantaged and work to better our society for all its members, writes Creighton President Daniel S. Hendrickson. 

  • Updated
  • 0

More than 600 nonprofits are on the SHARE Omaha platform, where the community can find a cause they are passionate about,

  • Updated
  • 0

Examples include "free" gift cards and reports that one's financial accounts have been compromised. 

  • Updated
  • 0

The unwillingness to acknowledge and represent people who are different from you/our group means that we are denying reality.

  • Updated
  • 0

An Omahan writes on the topic, drawing on his deployments as senior legal advisor to a special operations joint task force.

  • Updated
  • 0

A former director of the Iowa Department of Education draws on his professional experience in explaining a danger facing our society. 

  • Updated
  • 0

These caregivers and those on the receiving end are difference makers and role models for the rest of us. 

  • Updated
  • 0

Former Sen. Ernie Chambers shares his frustration that many Black people are resisting the COVID vaccine. 

  • Updated
  • 0

We are committed to fostering an environment where we better recruit, retain and support the success of students, faculty and staff who are people of color, writes UNL chancellor Ronnie Green.

  • Updated
  • 0

Gene Fendt, Ph.D., and the Albertus Magnus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, reflects on the ethics of UNK's system of education.

  • Updated
  • 0

For small-town and rural grocery stores, SNAP dollars help keep the doors open and, in doing so, support what may be the only place to buy fresh food for miles.

  • Updated
  • 0

Let’s work to get EPA to use the many existing policy levers they have to open the market to ethanol blends of 20%, 25% and 30%. The potential benefits are significant, writes Todd Sneller.

  • Updated
  • 0

Each of us must take steps to support our freedom and honor veterans: Think critically, engage in civil discourse and advocate for vets. 

  • Updated
  • 0

Over the past year there were nearly 2,500 cybersecurity-related job openings in Nebraska.

  • Updated
  • 0

This Iowa veteran remembers his fallen comrade from the Vietnam War. 

  • Updated
  • 0

The message was to stop the petty politics and address real issues. 

  • Updated
  • 0

The Senate should follow the House in approving an allowance to help military families meet basic needs. 

  • Updated
  • 0

Millions of STEM jobs go unfilled each year due to an ongoing nationwide shortage of STEM professionals. This shortage hits home in Nebraska. …

0 Comments

Catch the latest in Opinion

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

all

Breaking News

Huskers Breaking News

News Alert