Omaha activists demonstrate outrage after ongoing struggle for power in abortion conversation



A protester outside of Planned Parenthood reads bible verses aloud. These protesters have been gathering outside the clinic for two years.

Elena Gaines, News Editor

On Saturday, October 2, approximately 120,000 people gathered nationwide to show their support for maintaining the autonomy of women’s bodies according to news site, 

This surge of protest comes following a new state law in Texas. The policy prohibits abortions after the first detected heartbeat, typically around 6 weeks, with little to no exception for rape or incest. This will severely limit access to abortion for women, as many don’t know they’re pregnant at six weeks according to the ACLU. 

The law was first implemented September 1, and shortly thereafter, talk of the “Rally for Abortion Justice” began. By October 2, over 600 protests had been organized across the United States. The largest groups assembled in Washington D.C., Los Angeles, CA, and Austin, TX, according to 

However, despite not having the numbers, the people of Omaha, NE did not shy away from a protest of their own. Beginning with speakers at 3 p.m. on the steps of Omaha City Hall, followed by a march through the streets of downtown Omaha, 4,200 people were in attendance, according to Omaha World Herald.  

However, this is not the first instance of Nebraskans taking a stand for their beliefs surrounding the controversial topic of abortion. 

 Planned Parenthood volunteer and former Omaha North teacher, Jann Dappen, recalls anti-abortion protesters lining the parking lot for, “as long as she can remember.” 

Dappen, who has been serving as an escort helping Planned Parenthood patients to and from their cars for two years, has personal experience with the protesters who have been known to become violent at times. 

Boasting a similar viewpoint to those who passed the bill in Texas, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts says, “Nebraska is a pro-life state,” and he hopes to move Nebraska toward a similar abortion policy which was met with an even greater uproar from Nebraskans opposing the Texas law. 

“There is no separation of church and state in Nebraska, which makes these people feel entitled to attack the women that come through here,” Dappen said. “Ricketts is creating a culture that is very anti-women. The religious aspect of it needs to stop.” 

The opposing side, coining the title ‘pro-life,’ believes religious texts instruct against abortions, or infanticide, and that those who have abortions are committing a mortal sin, murder. 

There are strong feelings from both parties that sometimes result in heated conflicts, a common occurrence at the 93rd and Maple Planned Parenthood clinic, Dappen’s place of work. After several years of complaints from business owners and the clinic, the protesters are no longer allowed on the property, but there is no rule against gathering on public land. This resulted in the protesters surrounding the building on several sides and making their views on the matter clear to those visiting the clinics.  

Dappen has a very different view on the matter.  

“I don’t want to tell anyone they have to be approving of someone’s abortion, but they should not have the right to harass them and call them names,” Dappen said.  

She explained several instances in which women were driven away from the clinic due to the “hateful terrorization from the protesters.”  

There may be no resolution for these everyday battles, as policy being created at the state government levels may further open the dispute between these already divided groups.