Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen signed a bill into law on Monday that bans abortion after 12 weeks and limits gender-affirming care for minors.
Legislative Bill (LB) 574 contains two separate acts–the Preborn Child Protection Act and the Let Them Grow Act. The abortion ban provides exceptions for victims of sexual assault, incest and medical emergency so long as a physician certifies that is why the patient had an abortion. The second part of the bill requires the chief medical officer of Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to regulate gender-affirming care for individuals under the age of 19. Specifically, DHHS will now be responsible for regulating puberty-blocking drugs and cross-sex hormones. The bill also bans the use of state funds for a “gender-altering procedure” in individuals younger than 19.
Pillen said of the bill, “LB574 is the most significant win for social conservatives in a generation, and is part of what has been a historic legislative session with senators voting for policies that protect our kids, cut taxes, grow agriculture, and defend our Nebraska values.”
Rush Chapman, the interim executive direct of the Nebraska branch of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), stated, “The governor’s decision to sign these sweeping restrictions into law betrays a total disregard for Nebraskans’ freedom, health, and well-being. Remember that more than 1,000 local medical professionals warned senators that LB 574 would put lives at risk – officials should have listened.”
Last week, Nebraska’s legislature passed LB 574 and sent it to the governor for signing. The bill reduces the time period to obtain an abortion from 20 to 12 weeks in the state effective immediately. As more states continue to pass restrictive abortion laws, a recent report found that since Roe v. Wade was overturned by the US Supreme Court, states with abortion bans are unable to provide the adequate standard of care for those who are pregnant.