Nebraska lawmakers have passed a 12-week abortion ban in addition to legislation banning sex change surgeries from being performed on minors.
A previous attempt to ban abortions after six weeks failed by just a single vote. But, Republican State Sen. Ben Hansen added the 12-week ban, the Preborn Child Protection Act, to the transgender surgery bill, the Let Them Grow Act, which passed by a vote of 33 – 15.
The abortion ban provides exceptions for instances of rape, incest, and to protect the life of the mother.
Democrats were angered by the bill’s passage, calling their Republican counterparts “extremists” multiple times.
“Extremists in the legislature decided that the mental health, the economic impact, and the private decisions between a doctor and a patient are not worth protecting, and instead enacted harmful and discriminatory legislation,” Jane Kleeb, Chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party, posted on Twitter in an official statement.
Despite the medical community coming out in full opposition. Despite local businesses vocalizing the economic harm and the bill’s acceleration of brain drain. And despite a mobilized movement of supporters across the state, extremists voted against the majority of Nebraskans.
The extremists showed the entire state that they are pro-life in name only since they can’t seem to lift a finger helping kids and families, all they can do is play to the worst of culture wars meant to demean and divide.
We thank the majority of our Democratic Senators for defending the basic human rights of some of the most vulnerable. We now take this fight to the ballot box to hold accountable the extremists who took away the rights women have had for half a century.
Our @NebraskaDems statement: “Extremists in the legislature decided that the mental health, the economic impact, and the private decisions between a doctor and a patient are not worth protecting, and instead enacted harmful and discriminatory legislation.“ 🧵#NeLeg
— Jane Kleeb👢🪧🗳️ (@janekleeb) May 19, 2023
Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen is expected to sign the legislation. The abortion ban will take effect the day after he signs the bill, while the restrictions on transgender surgeries will go into effect on October 1.
“All children deserve a chance to grow and live happy, fruitful lives. This includes pre-born boys and girls, and it includes children struggling with their gender identity,” Pillen said in an official statement. “These kids deserve the opportunity to grow and explore who they are and want to be, and they can do so without making irreversible decisions that should be made when they are fully grown.”
Protesters chanted inside the chamber while the final vote was being taken, with some holding signs that read “respect my trans homies.”
Nebraska joins 17 other states that have already passed laws banning or restricting sex change surgeries for minors.