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Government Leaders on Abortion

   
Senator Ben Nelson
U.S. Senator
Ben Nelson
NELSON STATEMENT ON SUPREME COURT RULING ON PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION BAN

April 18, 2007 -

Today, in a 5-4 vote, the United States Supreme Court upheld a federal law banning partial birth abortions. Nebraska's Senator Ben Nelson voted for and was a co-sponsor of the legislation. The law had previously been challenged by federal courts in Nebraska, New York and California. The decision today overturns those rulings.

 Nelson issued the following statement on today's decision:

"I agree with today's decision by the Supreme Court and I disagree with federal Judge Richard Kopf and others who have struck down the ban on partial birth abortion. I am pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court's final say overturns poor decisions made by lower federal courts.

"When Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito sat in my office before their confirmation hearings, they pledged they would interpret the law, not make the law. Today's decision is a victory over judicial activism."

NELSON: SENATE APPROVES CHILD CUSTODY PROTECTION ACT

The Senate approved tonight the Child Custody Protection Act (S. 403), making it a federal crime to take minors across state lines to obtain an abortion in order to circumvent state parental notification and consent laws. Nebraska’s Senator Ben Nelson cosponsored the legislation, which passed 65-34.

“I signed Nebraska’s parental notification law into effect in 1991 when I was Governor,” said Nebraska’s Senator Ben Nelson. “It is critical that we have this federal law in place to ensure individuals cannot take minors across state lines to avoid laws set in place to ensure parental consent and protect minors.”

All but six states and Washington DC have consent or notification requirements for minors seeking abortions, although nine of those laws have been enjoined by judges or the states' attorneys general. State parental consent laws, including Nebraska’s, contain "judicial bypass" provisions, as required by the U.S. Supreme Court. Any minor who receives such judicial authorization in her home state would not be affected by S. 403.

S. 403 contains a provision that allows a parent to sue a person who transports the parent's minor daughter to another state for an abortion in circumvention of the law. An amendment was adopted to the Senate legislation this evening that clarified that this right to sue cannot be employed by a parent who commits incest on the minor.

The House passed similar legislation last year.

NELSON STATEMENT ON STEM CELL LEGISLATION

April 11, 2007 -

Today, the United States Senate passed two bills to promote stem cell research. S. 5 would expand the use of taxpayer dollars for embryonic stem cell research. S. 30 would authorize funding for research where embryos are not destroyed, discarded, or subjected to risk of injury or death. Nebraska's Senator Ben Nelson voted against S. 5 and for S. 30. He issued the following statement:

"I oppose expanded federal funding for research on additional stem cell lines, but support funding for promising research on adult, umbilical cord, amniotic fluid, and other types of stem cells."

 

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