Testimony Opposing LB626
Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
Senior Minister, First Central Congregational United Church of Christ of Omaha
A few years ago a family came to me for pastoral care. The young mother, who had for a long time been hoping to become pregnant, finally had gotten pregnant, but her prenatal care had revealed that the child had severe deformities and defects. Doctors told her that if the child was alive when born, then it would only live a short time unless a number of major surgeries were performed, and even if the surgeries were performed, the child would have likely live a very short time and with very little quality of life.
The family made the loving, parental decision that the most caring thing they could do was to terminate the pregnancy. They were grieved about that decision, but felt it was right and good and loving.
What brought them into my pastoral office was their anger at what happened next. When they made this parenting, health care decision, they were told by their physicians that they couldn’t provide the needed abortion, that they would have to seek abortion services from a different provider, and that they had a very short time in which to do so, otherwise Nebraska law would compel them to leave the state for this medical procedure.
That’s why they were upset and angry. What should have been their decision, weighing their moral values and parental care, and then making a health care choice, was instead a fraught, politicized controversy that added to their grief and pain. That was a worse trauma.
So, I come to you today as a pastor, who has walked with families making these sorts of decisions, to ask you not to further burden good people with unnecessary obstacles and political controversy, but to instead trust and respect the dignity of the human person. To grant parents the freedom to make moral, loving decisions, and not impose your political will upon them. Violating their freedoms of conscience and religion. Please oppose LB626.