ACLU challenges Nebraska restrictions on abortion and gender-affirming care News
Nanilluc, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
ACLU challenges Nebraska restrictions on abortion and gender-affirming care

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit on behalf of Planned Parenthood Tuesday challenging a Nebraska law that restricted abortion access and gender-affirming care for transgender youth. The complaint asserts that the law, LB574, violates the Nebraska constitution because it is not limited to one subject, and asks the court to block the provisions targeting abortion and gender-affirming care.

Nebraska’s state constitution specifies that “no bill shall contain more than one subject, and the subject shall be clearly expressed in the title.” Because LB574 concerns both abortion and gender-affirming care, the lawsuit says that it violates this one-subject provision.

“Although both components of LB574 took away Nebraskans’ freedoms, ultimately we are talking about two entirely unrelated subjects: gender-related care for trans youth and abortion access,” said Mindy Rush Chipman, ACLU of Nebraska interim executive director. “We believe the combination of those bans violated the clear text of our state’s constitution.”

LB574 was signed into law last week and will go into effect on October 1. At the time of signing, Governor Janet Pillen said that the law was “the most significant win for social conservatives in a generation.” A number of organizations expressed their opposition. The American Medical Association previously defended both abortion access and gender-affirming care, calling government intrusions on medical care “violations of human rights.”

The lawsuit comes as conservative states across the US continue to pass laws targeting abortion access and transgender healthcare—laws that experts say put patients at risk. Despite these legislative efforts, medical providers and patient advocates insist that they will continue to provide care. CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States Ruth Richardson recently said:

We will do everything in our power to restore what should be a fundamental right to bodily autonomy. Nebraskans deserve the right to make private health care decisions that are best for them, their families, and their futures—not politicians, who now have more control over our bodies than we do. And we will not stop until Nebraskans have that right today and for generations to come.