LINCOLN — A group of Nebraskans is seeking to present a different abortion-related constitutional amendment to voters in November: banning abortions after the first trimester.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the petition effort received the backing of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, which said voters will have a “clear choice” come November on two abortion measures.

“Establish a constitutional protection for babies from second- and third-trimester abortions OR allow painful late-term abortion to end the lives of babies who smile, suck their thumbs and feel pain,” western regional director Adam Schwend said in a Tuesday statement.

The “Protect Women and Children Constitutional Amendment,” based on paperwork filed March 1 with the Secretary of State’s Office, would ban abortions past the first trimester, or at about 13 weeks of pregnancy. A state law passed in 2023 prohibits most abortions after 12 weeks gestational age.

An earlier petition drive, the Protect Our Rights campaign, has the backing of the ACLU of Nebraska, I Be Black Girl, Planned Parenthood, Women’s Fund of Omaha and others. That effort is seeking a constitutional amendment that would allow abortions up to fetal viability, or about 23 weeks into a pregnancy.

The newly filed ballot initiative would allow exceptions for medical emergencies and pregnancies resulting from sexual assault or incest, which is the same as the current law.

“Unborn children shall be protected from abortion in the second and third trimesters,” the filed petition language states.

A lead sponsor on the measure did not immediately return calls seeking comment. An email address listed with the group did not work and bounced back.

Jackie Ourada, a spokesperson for the Secretary of State’s Office, said the petition language has not been finalized, although it has been reviewed by the Revisor of Statutes. Petitions cannot be circulated for signatures until sponsors file their final language and the Secretary of State’s Office prepares sample copies of the petition, Ourada said.

Organizers of any ballot initiative must gather signatures from at least 10% of Nebraska voters. The signatures must include 5% of registered voters in at least 38 of the state’s 93 counties. The deadline is July 3.

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