Republican Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen is scheduled to sign a bill Monday that bans abortion at 12 weeks of pregnancy and restricts gender surgeries for people younger than 19.
The abortion ban would take effect immediately after the governor’s signature, while the ban on gender surgeries would take on Oct. 1.
Nebraska’s conservative-led, unicameral Legislature passed the bill with the two contentious issues on Friday after hours of heated debate. Conservative lawmakers wrangled just enough votes to end a filibuster and approve it. Bill opponents have promised to sue to try and block the law.
The hybrid measure tied together restrictions that Republicans have pursued across the U.S.
Protestors of a bill aimed at restricting gender surgeries for minors gather outside the Nebraska legislative chamber, on May 19, 2023, in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Justin Wan/Lincoln Journal Star via AP)
North Carolina also recently passed a 12-week abortion ban, among a slew of restrictions enacted in states after the U.S. Supreme Court last year struck down the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that established a nationwide right to abortion. Fourteen states have approved an abortion ban throughout pregnancy.
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Nebraska had not passed a new ban since it became the first state to limit abortions around 20 weeks of pregnancy in 2010. The new 12-week ban will include exceptions for rape, incest and to save the life of the mother.
At least 17 states had already enacted laws restricting or banning gender-affirming medical care for minors before Monday, and proposals are pending before the governors of Texas and Missouri. Medical groups and advocates say such restrictions are further marginalizing transgender youth and threatening their health.
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One Nebraska lawmaker, Omaha state Sen. Megan Hunt, disclosed in March that her teenage son is transgender and said Friday that she now plans to leave the state.