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Riverside Chats

Nebraska Abortion Resources' Shelley Mann Explains 3 Reproductive Rights Petitions

Nebraska Abortion Resources logo, a beige background with brown text and a flower in the middle
Nebraska Abortion Resources is a nonprofit that provides financial assistance to those seeking an abortion.

Shelley Mann is the founder and executive director of Nebraska Abortion Resources, also known as NEAR.

Mann started NEAR in 2020 with a mission of providing financial aid to people seeking abortions. That assistance can take different forms, such as paying for the procedure itself or covering travel costs. Mann says NEAR has helped 800 people access abortions in four years.

Mann has a long history of advocacy related to reproductive rights and other causes. She’s long been a fixture outside the Clinic for Abortion & Reproductive Excellence in Bellevue, escorting patients inside and shouting down anti-abortion protesters. Her TikToks documenting her experiences outside the building have amassed millions of views

Mann is in discussion with Maria Corpuz about her personal relationship with abortion and how it led to her current path. We’re also discussing the Nebraska petitions drives for three separate ballot measures related to reproductive rights.

The Protect Women and Children Constitutional Amendment petition aims to enshrine the 12-week ban in the state constitution.

The Now Choose Life petition would grant legal personhood to embryos and fetuses.

And the Protect our Rights petition, supported by Mann, would amend the state constitution to include a right to an abortion until fetal viability, or about 24 weeks. Each petition has a deadline of July 3 to collect signatures.

No matter which side you’re on, make sure you read the petition you’re signing, and read it carefully.

Courtney is back in her hometown after graduating from the University of Kansas in 2019 with degrees in journalism and film. While at KU, she was the arts and culture editor of the University Daily Kansan and had a summer internship at KCUR, Kansas City's NPR member station. She has three pet rats and has seen almost every Audrey Hepburn movie.
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