LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen has approved regulations restricting access to certain medical care for transgender youth, finalizing a process that began last October with the Department of Health and Human Services’ release of emergency regulations. 

The approval comes despite continued outspoken opposition from impacted families and medical providers who have said the restrictions conflict with standards of care.

The restrictions are the result of a bill senators passed last year, which gave rise to a lawsuit challenging the bill’s combination of a 12-week abortion ban and transgender care restrictions as a violation of the state constitution’s requirement that “no bill shall contain more than one subject.” An American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) attorney argued the case before the Nebraska Supreme Court in early March.

ACLU of Nebraska Legal Fellow Grant Friedman made this statement on today’s development:

“State officials have decided to flatly ignore the serious concerns raised by impacted young people as well as their family members and their medical and mental health providers,” Friedman said. “To be clear, we are talking about gender-affirming care that is endorsed by major medical organizations and recognized as often life-saving care. Young trans Nebraskans and their families have been struggling to access needed gender-affirming care under the emergency regulations, and now they know that will continue under these discriminatory final regulations. Trans youth deserve access to gender-affirming care, and they deserve a lot better than this. As we await the Nebraska Supreme Court’s decision, our team continues to explore all options to ensure that trans youth have access to the care they need.”